Skip to main content

Full text of "The dance of death"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 


I^acbarb Collese V&tsx^. 

Collection of Books on Proverbs, Em- 
blems, and tbe Dance of Death. 


(A.M. .17..) 

Feb. 1, 1893. 





-"' V f^ 



e K 


( I 

t : 


f '' ' 


'-/-• . 

- . / 

Entered accordins^ to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, ^X GEORGE N. '1 H^MA.S, 
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 



* ' 

V ^ -• 




c ■ 


I Dance of Death^ 


William Werman 



San Francisco: 
Henry KellIr & Co., 543 Clay Street. 


^ -.arva.rd College Library, 

Gift of 

" Wilt thou bring fine gold for a payment 

For sins on this wise ? 
For the glittering of raiment 

And the shining of eyes, 
For the painting of faces 

And the sundering of trust, 
For the sins of thine high places 

And delight of thy lust?'' 

" Not with fine gold for a payment, 

But with coin of sighs, 
But with rending of raiment 

And with weeping of eyes. 
But with shame of stricken faces 

And with strewing of dust, 

For the sin of stately places 

And lordship of lust." 



HE writer of these pages is not 
foolish enough to suppose that 
lie can escape strong and bit- 
ter condemnation for his utterances* 
On this score he is not disposed to be 
greatly troubled ; and for these reasons : 
Firstly — he feels that he is performing 
a duty; secondly — he is certain that his 
sentiments will be endorsed by hundreds 
upon whose opinion he sets great value; 
thirdly — he relieves his mind of a bur- 
den that h^is oppressed it for many 
years; and fourthly — as is evident upon 


8 Preface. 

the face of these pages — ^he is no pro- 
fessed litterateur, who can be starved 
by adverse criticism. Nevertheless he 
would be apostate to his self-appointed 
mission if he invited censure by un- 
seemly defiance of those who must read 
and pass judgment upon his work. While, 
therefore, he does not desire to invoke 
the leniency of the professional critic or 
the casual reader, he does desire to 
justify the position he has taken as far 
as may be consistent with good taste. 

It will doubtless be asserted by many: 
That the writer is a "bigoted parson," 
whose puritanical and illiberal ideas con- 
cerning matters of which he has no per- 
sonal experience belong to an age that is 
happily passed. On the contrary, he is 
a man of the world, who has mixed 
much in society both in the old world 

Preface. 9 

and the new, and who knows whereof 
he affirms. 

That he is, for some reason, unable to 
partake of the amusement he condemns, 
and is therefore jealous of those more 
fortunate than himself. Wrong again. 
He has drunk deeply of the cup he 
warns others to avoid; and has better 
opportunities than the generality of men 
to continue the draught if he found it 
to his taste. 

That he publishes from motives of 
private malice. Private malice — no. 
Malice of a certain kind, yes. Malice 
against those who should know better 
than to abuse the rights of hospitality 
by making a bawdy-house of their host's 

But the principal objection will doubt- 
less refer to the plain language used. 

lo Preface. 

My excuse, if indeed excuse be needed 
for saying just what I mean, is, that it is 
impossible to clothe in delicate terms 
the intolerable nastiness which I ex- 
pose, and at the same time to press the 
truth home to those who are most in 
need of it; I might as well tall^ to the 
winds as veil my ideas in sweet phrases 
when addressing people who it seems 
cannot descry the presence of corruption 
until it is held in all its putridity under 
their very nostrils. 

Finally, concerning the prudence and 
advisability of such a publication, I have 
only to say that I have consulted 
many leading divines and principals 
of educational institutions, all of whom 
agree that the subject must be dealt 

with plainly, and assure me that its 
importance demands more than ordinary 

Preface. 1 1 

treatment — that it is a foeman worthy of 
the sharpest steel ; for, say they : To 
repeat the tame generalities uttered ffom 
the pulpit, or the quiet tone of disappro- 
bation adopted by the press, would be 
to accord to the advocates of this evil a 
power which they do not possess, and 
to proclaim a weakness of its opponents 
which the facts will not justify. 

I have therefore spoken plainly and 
to the purpose, that those who run — or 
waltz — may read. 

But there remains yet something to 
be said, which is more necessary to my 
own peace of mind, and to that of many 
of my readers, than all that has gone 
'before. So important is it, indeed, that 
what I am about to say should be 
distinctly understood by all those whose 
criticism I value, and whose feelings I 

i 2 PrefcLce. 

respect, that I almost hesitate t6 consign 
it to that limbo of egotism — the preface. 
Be it known, then, that although in the 
following pages I have, without com- 
punction, attacked the folly and vice of 
those who practice such, yet I would 
rather my right hand should wither than 
that the pen it wields should inflict a 
single wound upon one innocent person. 
I am yvilling to believe, nay, I knoWy 
that there are many men and women 
who can and do dance without an 
impure thought or action; for theirs is 
not the Dance of Death; th^y can take 
a reasonable pleasure in one another's 
society without wishing to be locked in 
one another's embrace; they can rest 
content with such graces as true refine- 
ment teaches them are modest, without 
leaping the bounds of decorum to ^ 

Preface. 13 

indulge in what a false and fatal refine- 
ment styles the "poetry of motion;" in 
short, to them the waltz, in its newest 
phases at least, is a stranger. I would 
not, like Lycurgus and Mahomet, cut 
down all the vines, and forbid the drink- 
ing of wine, because it makes some men 
drunk. Dancers of this class, therefore, 
I implore not to regard the ensuing 
chapters as referring to themselves — 
the cap does not fit their heads, let them 
not attempt to wear it. 

The same remarks will apply to some 
of those heads of families who permit 
and encourage dancing at their homes. 
Many among them doubtless exercise a 
surveillance too strict to admit of any- 
thing improper taking place within their 
doors; these stand in no need of either 
advice or warning from me. But more 

14 Preface. 

of them, I am grieved to say, are merely 
blameless because they are ignorant of 
what really does take place. The social 
maelstrom whirls nightly in their draw- 
ing-rooms; with their wealth, hospitality, 
and countenance they unconsciously, but 
none the less surely, lure the fairest 
ships of life Into its mad waters. Let 
these also, then, not be offended that in 
this book I raise a beacon over the dark 
vortex, within whose treacherous em- 
brace so many sweet young souls have 
been whirled to perdition. 



"That motley d«m.! Oh. 

be lure 

It shall not be forgot! 

With iti Phantom chased /or 


Bj a crowd th>t seize it no 

Throush a circle that eyet ret 

arneth i 

To the self-same spotj 

And mi>ch of Madness, and 

nore of 

And Horror, the soul of Ih 


ri EAUER, I have an engagement 

I to keep to-night. Let me take 

I you with me; you will beinter- 

S ested. 

But, stay — ^I have a condition to make 

before I accept of your company. Have 

you read the preface ? " No, of course 

not ; who reads prefaces ? " Very well, 


just oblige me by making mine an ex- 
ception — it is a Gilead where you per- 
haps may obtain balm for the wounds 
you will receive on our expedition. And 
now, supposing you to have granted this 
request, let us prof:eed. 

Our carriage pulls up before the en- 
trance of an imposing mansion. From 
every window the golden gaslight 
streams out into the darkness; from 
the wide-open door a perfect glory 
floods the street from side to side. 
There is a hum of subdued voices with- 
in, there is a banging of coach doors 
without; there is revelry brewing, we 
may be sure. 

We step daintily from our carriage 
upon the rich carpet which preserves 
our patent-leathers from the contamina- 
tion of the sidewalk; we trip lightly up 
the grand stone stairway to the en- 
trance; obsequious lackeys relieve us 
of our superfluous raiment; folding 


doors fly open before us without so 
much as a ''sesame" being uttered; and, 
behold, we enter upon a scene of en- 

Magnificent apartments succeed each 
other in a long vista, glittering with 
splendid decorations; costly frescoes are 
overhead, luxurious carpets are under 
foot, .priceless pictures, rich laces, rare 
trifles of art are around us; an atmos- 
phere of wealth, refinement, luxury, and 
good taste is all-pervading. 

But these are afterthoughts with us; 
it is the splendor of the assembled com- 
pany that absorbs our admiration now. 
Let us draw aside and observe this 
throng a little, my friend. 

Would you have believed it possible 
that so much beauty and richness could 
have been collected under one roof? 
Score upon score of fair women and 
handsome men; the apparel of the 
former rich beyond conception — of the 


latter, immaculate to. a fault. The rooms 
are pretty well filled already, but the cry 
is still they come. 

See yonder tall and radiant maiden, 
as she enters leaning upon the arm of 
her grey-headfed father. Mark her well, 
my friend; I will draw your attention to 
her again presently. How proud of her 
the old man looks; and well he. may. 
What divine grace of womanhood lives 
in that supple form; what calm, sweet 
beauty shines in that lovely face — a face 
so pure and passionless in expression 
that the nudity of bust and arms, and 
the contour of limbs more than sug- 
gested by the tightly clinging silk, call 
for no baser admiration than we feel 
when looking upon the representation of 
an angel. Observe closely with what 
high-bred and maidenly reserve she re- 
sponds to the greeting of the Apollo in 
** full dress " who bows low before her 
— the very type of the elegant and 


polished gentleman. In bland and gen- 
tle tones he begs a favor to be granted 
a little later in the evening. With 
downcast eyes she smiles consent; with 
a bow he records the promise upon a 
tablet in his hand. Gracefully she 
moves forward again, leaning on her 
^ father s arm, smiling and nodding to her 
acquaintances, and repeating the harm- 
less little ceremony described above with 
perhaps a dozen other Apollos before 
she reaches the end of the ropm. 

"Ah, pure and loviely girl!" I hear 
you mutter as she disappears, *' happy 
indeed is he who can win that jewel for 
a wife. That face will haunt me like a 
dream!" Likely enough, O my friend! 
but dreams are not all pleasant. 

Now look again at this young wife 
just entering with her husband. Is she 
not beautiful! and how devotedly she 
hangs upon his arm! With what a 
triumphant glance around the room he 


seems to say: "Behold my treasure — 
my very own ; look at the gorgeousness 
of her attire, ladies, and pray for such a 
husband; gaze upon the fairness of her 
face, gentlemen, and covet such a wife." 
Again the Apollos step blandly forward, 
again the little promises are lisped out 
and recorded. And so the goodly com- ^ 
pany go on, introducing and being intro- 
duced, and conversing agreeably to- 
gether. A right pleasant and edifying 
spectacle, purely. 

But, hark! The music strikes up; the 
dancing is about to begin. You and I 
do not dance; we withdraw to an adjoin- 
ing room and take a hand at cards. 

The hours go swiftly by and still we 
play on. The clock strikes two; the 
card-players are departing. But the 
strains of the distant music have been 
unceasing; the game does not flag in the 
ball-room. You have not seen a dance 
since your youth, you say, and then only 


the rude gambols of country-folk; you 
would fain see before you go how these 
dames and damsels of gentler breeding 
acquit themselves. 

The dance is at its height; we could 
not have chosen a better time to see the 
thing in its glory. 

As we approach the door of the ball- 
room the music grows louder and more 
ravishing than ever; no confusion of 
voices mars its delicious melody; the 
only sounds heard beneath its strains are 
a low swish and rustle as of whirling 
robes, and a light, but rapid and inces- 
sant shuffling of feet. The dull element 
has gone home; those who remain have 
better work to do than talking. We 
push the great doors asunder and enter. 

Ha! the air is hot and heavy here; it 
breathes upon us in sensuous gusts of 
varying perfumes. And no wonder. 
A score of whirling scented robes stir it 
into fragrance. How beautiful — but 


you look aghast, my friend. Ah, I 
forgot; these are not the rude country- 
folk of your youth. You are dazzled — 
bewildered. Then let me try to enliven 
your dulled senses with a description of 
what we see. 

A score of forms whirl swiftly before 
us under the softened gaslight. I say a 
score of forms — but each is double — 
they would have made two score before 
the dancing began. Twenty floating 
visions — each male and female. Twenty 
women knit and growing to as many 
men, undulate, sway, and swirl giddily 
before us, keeping time with the delirious 
melody of piano, harp, and violin, 

But draw nearer — let us see how this 
miracle is accomplished. Do you mark 
yonder tall couple who seem even to 
excel the rest in grace and ardor. Do 
they not make a picture which might 
put a soul under the ribs of Death ? Such 
must have been the sight which made 


Speusippas incontinently rave : " O ad- 
mirable, O divine Panareta! Who 
would not admire her, who would not 
love her, that sly)uld but see her dance 
as I did ? O how she danced, how she 
tripped, how she turned ! With what a 
grace ! Felix qui Panareta fruitur ! O 
most incomparable, only, Panareta!" Let 
us take this couple for a sample. He is 
stalwart, agile, mighty; she is tall, supple, 
lithe, and how beautiful in form and 
feature! Her head rests upon his shoul- 
der, her face is upturned to his; her 
naked arm is almost around his neck; 
her swelling breast heaves tumultuously 
against his; face to face they whirl, his 
limbs interwoven with her limbs; with 
strong right arm about her yielding 
waist, he presses her to him till every 
curve in the contour of her lovely body 
thrills v/ith the amorous contact. Her 
eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; 
the soft music fills the room, but she 




hears nothing; swiftly he whirls her 
from the floor or bends her frail body to 
and fro in his embrace, but she knows 
it not; his hot breath is upon her hair, 
his lips almost touch her forehead, yet 
she does not shrink; his eyes, gleaming 
with a fierce intolerable lust, gloat satyr- 
like over her, yet she does not quail ; she 
is filled with a rapture divine in its in- 
tensity — she is in the maelstrom of burn- 
ing desire — ^her spirit is with the gods. 

With a last, low wail the music ceases. 
Her swooning senses come back to life. 
Ah, must it be ! Yes ; her companion 
releases her from his embrace. Leaning 
wearily upon his arm, the raj^ture faded 
from her eye, the flush dying from her 
cheek — enervated, limp, listless, worn 
out — she is led to a seat, there to recover 
from her delirium and gather her ener- 
gies as best she may in the space of five 
minutes, after which she must yield her 
body to a new embrace. 


But did you not notice a faint smile 
upon the lips of her late companion as 
he turned and left her? a smile of tri- 
umph, an air of sated appetite, it seemed 
to me; and see, as he joins his cronies 
yonder he laughs, rubs his hands 
together, chuckles visibly, and commu- 
nicates some choice scrap of news which 
makes them look over at our jaded 
beauty and laugh too; they appreciate 
the suggestion of the ancient : 

**Tenta modo tangere corpus, 
Jam tua mclliHuo membra calore fluent.*' 

But she can keep her secret better 
than they, it is evident. 

And now^tell me, friend of mine, did 
you not recognize an old acquaintance in 
the lady we have been watching so 
closely ? No ! Then believe me she is 
no other than the "pure and lovely girl" 
you so much admired earlier in the even- 
ing, the so desirable wife, the angel who 
was to "haunt your dreams." 


"What ! that harlot- 


Hush — a spade is not called a spade 
here ; but I assure you again that the 
sensuous, delirious Bacchante whose 
semi-nakedness was so apparent as she 
lay swooning in the arms of her param — 
partner just now, was one and the same 
with the chaste and calm Diana — virgo 
virginissima — whose modest mien con- 
cealed her nudity so well. Moreover 
the satyr who was her accomplice — I 
can find no better word — the coward 
who pastured upon her and then boasted 
of his lechery, was the Apollo who 
first saluted her ; the little promise which 
she gave so gracefully, and which he 
recorded so eagerly, was a deliberate 
surrender of her body to his use and 
their mutual enjoyment. Furthermore, 
the old man who, filled with wine, sits 
asleep before the fire in the card-room, 
dreaming he holds thirteen trumps in 
his hand, is the proud father of our fair 



friend. Unselfish old man ! he, like 
you, knows no dances but reels and 
minuets. "Why should not the dear 
girl enjoy herself ?" he says ; besides, if 
he grows tired he can go ; Apollo will 
be glad to see her home. Apollo being 
rich, the old gentleman has no objection 
to see him chasing his Daphne; Cupio, 
Cupid, Cupidity — the Latin always 
knows what it is about. 

But, hark! The music begins again. 
Le jeu est fait, faites votre jeu messieurs! 
Gentlemen croupiers, prepare to rake in 
lost souls ! All stakes are yours that 
come within your reach. 

With energies, recuperated by stimu- 
lating refreshments^ matron and maiden 
rise to the proffered embrace ; with lusty 
vigor the Bulls of Bashan paw their 
fresh pastures. This is the last dance, 
and a furious one. 

'< Now round the room the circling dow'gers sweep, 
Now in loose waltz the thin-clad daughters leap; 
The first in lengthened line majestic swim, 
The last display the free, unfettered limb.** 


The Saturnalia will soon be ended. 
One more picture before we go. 

What right has that face over there 
to intrude amid this scene of wild 
festivity ? That dark and scowling face, 
filled with hate, and jealousy, and stifled 
rage. See how its owner prowls rest- 
lessly about; continually changing his 
position, but ever keeping his watchful 
eyes upon that voluptuous woman who, 
surrendering her soul to the lascivious 
pleasing of opportunity, is reeling, glid- 
ing, and yielding in the clutch of her 
partner — her drunken catholicity of de- 
sire, her long libidinous reaches of im- 
agination, the glib and facile assent of 
her emotions, figured in every move- 
ment, and visible to every eye. 

This was the manner in which Bacch- 
us and Ariadne danced, which so moved 
the spectators that, as the old writer tells 
us, " they that were unmarried swore they 
would forthwith marry, and those that 


were married called instantly for their 
horses and galloped home to their wives." 
That miserable, self-despised, desper- 
ate wretch is the exultant husband 
whom we noticed on his arrival; it is 
natural that he should take some interest 
in the lady, — she is the wife he was ex- 
ulting over. No wonder that there is a 
dangerous look in his eye as he takes in 
the situation ; the gallant who is dancing 
with his wife may sup with Polonius 
yet — late, or rather early, as it is, for 
"murder's as near to lust as flame to 
smoke." No wonder there is a hang- 
dog expression in his face as his friends 
clap him on the back and applaud the 
lady's performance — ask him how he 
is enjoying the evening, and so forth. 
But the climax is reached when the 
sated Lothario restores the partner 
of his joys to her lawful lord, with the 
remark that "your wife, sir, dances most 
divinely ;" then the poor fool must screw 


up a sickly smile and say "thank you, 
sir," knowing all the while in his heart 
of hearts that the man before him has 
just now most surely made him cuckold 
under, his very nose. Poor fool! Will 
he never learn to appreciate the utter 
vileness of his situation ? Will he always 
be persuaded next morning that he must 
have been excited by the champagne — 
that his jealousy was the acme of all un- 
reason ? Or will he, as many have done, 
pop out some fine day a full-fledged dancer 
himself, and compromise matters with his 
wife by making the degradation mutual ? 

But while we ponder these things the 
melody has ceased ; the weary musicians 
have departed. There is a rush for 
cloaks and hoods, and rather more ad- 
justing of the same upon feminine forms 
by bold masculine hands than is perhaps 
necessary for their proper arrangement. 

Shift the scenery for the last act of 
this delectable drama ! 


The gentlemen will escort the ladies 
to their homes! Apollo will still pur- 
sue the nimble Daphne, Pan will not yet 
relinquish his hot pursuit of the fleet- 
footed Syrinx ; and verily on this occasion 
their reward shall be greater than reeds 
and laurels. Forward, then, to the wait- 
ing carriages! 

Ah, how grateful to the gas-scorched 
eyeballs is the thick gloom of the 
coach — how pleasant to the weary limbs 
are these luxurious cushions! 

There! close the door softly ; up with 
the windows — down with the curtains! 
Driver, go slowly, as I heard you 
ordered to do just now, and you shall 
not want for future patronage. And 
you, young man within, strike while the 
iron is hot. In your comrade every 
mental sense is stupified, every carnal 
sense is roused. It is the old, old story: 
*' Nox, vinum et adolescentia.'' The 


opportunity is golden. Society is very 
good to you,young man! 

Come, my friend, let us go. The 
play is played out, and so are the play- 
ers. The final tableau does not take 
place upon the stage. We read that 
under one of the Roman Emperors the 
pantomimic dance was not unfrequently 
ended by the putting to death by torture 
upon the stage of some condemned 
criminal, in order that the spectators 
might gaze upon death in all its horrible 
reality. God forbid that any such ghastly 
finale should take place behind the scenes 
now that our pantomime is finished ! 
But at all events there is no more to 
see; and lest your imagination spoil your 
rest let me divert your attention to the 
speck of dawn over there in the east. 
At this hour, says the poet, 

" When late larks give warning 
Of dying lights and dawning, 
Night murmurs to the morning, 

«Lic still, O love, lie still j' 


And icrvcnc lipi tlut chitl." 

But, mind you, in these lines the poet 
does not even remotely refer to the 
occupants of the carriage. 





Devil h 
e becccc. 


mxir ii the 
come dhhon 

— P.T«A.C 

utof luM 
at home 


le of wh 

-omtn t 

i. vi UT," says the worthy reader 

I who has honored me by pe- 

I rusing the preceding Chapter, 

y "what manner of disgusting 

revel is this that you have shown us ? 

Have we been present at a reproduction 

of the rites of Dionysus and Astarte ? 

Have we held high revel in the halls of 

a modem Faustina or Messalina? Have 

we supped with Catherine of Russia ? 

Or have we been under the influence of 

a restored Lampsacene ? 


Don't delude yourself, my unsophis- 
ticated friend, you have simply been 
present at a " social hop " at the house 
of the Hon. Ducat Fitzbullion — a most 
estimable and " solid " citizen, a deacon 
of the church, where his family regularly 
attend, a great promoter of charities, 
Magdalen Asylufns, and the like, and 
President of the " Society for the Sup- 
pression of Immorality among the Hot- 
tentots." The fair women whom you 
have somewhat naturally mistaken for 
prHresses de la Vagabonde VdntiSy are 
the pure daughters and spotless wives 
of our "best citizens;" their male 
companions, or accomplices, or whatever 
you choose to call them, are the crhne 
de la crSme of all that is respectable 
and eligible in society ; and, finally, the 
dance which you have pronounced out- 
rageously indecent, is simply the Divine 
Waltz, in its various shapes of " Dip," 
'Glide," "Saratoga," "German." and 


what not — ^the King of Dances "with all 
the modern improvements." 

And this, my dear reader, is the abom- 
ination that I intend to smite hip and 
thigh — not with fine words and dainty- 
phrases, but with the homely language 
of truth ; not blinded by prejudice or 
passion, but calmly and reasonably ; not 
with any private purpose to subserve, 
but simply in the cause of common de- 
cency ; not with the hope of working out 
any great moral reform, but having the 
sense of duty strong upon me as I stick 
my nibbed lancet into the most hideous 
social ulcer that has as yet afflicted the 
body corporate. 

That the subject is a delicate one is 
best shown by the fact that even Byron 
found himself reduced to the necessity 
of " Putting out the light " and invok- 
ing the longest garments to cover that 
which he was unable to describe — hear 
him : 


^ Waltz — Waltz alone — both legs and arms demands ; 
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands; 
* Hands which may freely range in public sight 
Where ne*er before — but — pray " put out the light* 

*' But here the muse with due decorum halts — 
And lends her longest petticoats- to Waltz." 

It should not, then, be a matter of sur- 
prise, when one so gifted in the use of 
his mother tongue and writing in a far less 
prudish age, failed to describe the " vol- 
uptuous Waltz" without shocking his 
readers, — if I, sixty-three years later, 
wath so much more to describe and such 
limited capacity, do not succeed in ren- 
dering the subject less repulsive. 

Many will urge that a practice in- 
dulged in by the " best people " of every 
country — seemingly tolerated by all — 
cannot be so violently assailed without 
some motive other than a disinterested 
desire to advocate a correct principle — 
but such are reminded that much more 
than one-half the male adult population 


of every American city are addicted to 
the use of tobacco. Is its baneful effect 
upon the nerves of man any the less 
severe on this account ? So in the case 
of alcoholic beverages, is it open to de- 
bate that the great mass of our popula- 
tion are constantly consuming this •* wet 
damnation " ? And is it not known to all 
that it is the direct source of desolation to 
hearth and home, the destroyer of happi- 
ness and character, — that this has bro- 
ken more hearts, filled more dishonored 
graves than any other of man s follies ? 
Does, I say, the fact of its universality 
render its destroying influence less po- 
tent ? I think not. Neither do I believe 
the fact of society permitting itself to be 
carried by storm into the toleration of 
the "modern" dance, obliterates the fear- 
ful vortex into which its members are 
drawn, or compensates for the irreparable 
loss it suffers in the degradation of its 
chief ornament — woman. 


And here is one great diifficulty in 
my self-imposed task, for to lovely and 
pure woman must I partly address my- 
self. Yet even a partial reference to 
the various considerations involved, en- 
tails the presenting "of topics not gener- 
ally admitted into refined conversation. 
But in order to do any justice at all 
to the subject, we must not only con- 
sider the dance itself, but we must follow 
it to its conclusion. We must look at 
its direct results. We must hold it re- 
sponsible for the vice it encourages, the 
lasciviousness of which it so largely par- 
takes. And in presenting this subject, 
I shall steadfastly ignore that line cf 
argument based upon the assumption 
that because " it is general," It must be 
proper. Says Rochester : — 

" Custom does often reason overrule, 
And only serves for reason to the fool/* 

And Crabbe : — 

" Habit with him was all the test of truth : 
It must be right — I've done it from my youth.'* 


No, neither the use of tobacco, the in- 
dulgence in alcoholic beverages, nor the 
familiar posturing of the *' Glide" can be 
justified or defended by proving that 
they are common to all classes of society. 
I repeat that th^ scene I have at- 
tempted to describe in the foregoing 
chapter is no creation of a prurient imagi- 
nation — ^would to God that it were — ^but 
is a scene that is enacted at every social 
entertainment whiph in these days' is 
regarded by the class for whose benefit 
this work is written as worth the trouble 
of attending. I repeat that the female 
portion of the "class" referred to is 
not composed of what are commonly 
known as prostitutes, whatever the un- 
initiated spectator at their orgies may 
imagine, but of matrons who are held 
spotless, and of maidens who are counted 
pure — not only by the world in general, 
but by those husbands, fathers, and 
brothers, whose eyes should surely be 


the first to detect any taint upon the 
character of wife, daughter, or sister. 
And I repeat, moreover, that the social 
status of these people is not that of the 
rude peasant whose lewd pranks are 
the result of his ignorance, but that of 
the most highly cultivated and refined 
among us. These are the people who 
are expected to, and do, lead the world 
in all that is elegant and desirable; and 
the Waltz, forsooth, is one of their arts 
— one of the choice products of their 
ultra-civilization — brought to perfection 
by the grace with which God has gifted 
them above common folk, adorned by 
their wealth, and enjoyed by their high- 
strung sensibilities. The boor could not 
dance as they do though he were willing 
to give his immortal soul to possess the 
accomplishment, for the waltz, in its 
perfection, is a pleasure reserved for the 
social pantheon. 

Said one to me, stooping forward in 


the most confidential way '* Do you see 
that young lady to the left ? How exqui- 
sitely the closely drawn silk discloses 
her wasp-like form ! and those motions 
— could anything be more suggestive ? 
Every movement of her body is a per- 
fect reproduction of Hogarth's line of 
beauty. Look man! Remove just a 
little drapery and there is nothing left 
to desire — is'nt it wonderful ? But then," 
added he, "it is a perfect outrage never- 

Not so, I answered. Can aught be 
said against her reputation ? no ! — a 
thousand times no — and as for her dress, 
is it not the perfection of what all others 
in the room are but a crude attempt 
to acccomplish ? Does it not disclose a 
form intrinsically beautiful, and admit pf 
a grace and ** poetry of motion" quite 
unknown to those encumbered with 
petticoats ? Yes, look at her backward 
and forward movements — see how she 


entwines her lithe limbs with those of 
her enraptured partner as they oscillate, 
advance, recede, and rotate, as though 
they were "spitted on the same bodkin." 

" Thus front to front the partners move or stand, 
The foot may rest, but none withdraw the hand." 

This, sir, is but one of the many improve- 
ments on the waltz. 

And pray, sir, are not this lady to tne 
right and that one in the center, vainly 
endeavoring to achieve the same feat } 
The only difference is that this lady is 
better dressed, more ably taught than 
either; is she to be censured because 
she has the talent and industry to do 
well, that which they have neither the 
courage, energy, nor ability to perform ? 

Can it be that in this instance alone, 
a want of proficiency is a redeeming fea- 
ture } 


** Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness 
through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their 
own bodies between themselves.** 

— Epistle to the Romans. 


LREADY I see the face of the 
reader grow red with indigna- 
tion. "This is a calumniator, 
an infamous detractor, an envi- 
pessimist, a hater of all that is 
innocently enjoyable!" cries he or she. 
Very well — I bow my acknowledge- 
ments for the compliment. I have 
already stated in my preface that I did 
not expect you to say anything else. I 
could be well content to tell what I 
know and let you say your say in peace, 


but I will nevertheless go somewhat out 
of my way to answer your principal 

In the first place, there are certainly 
many who will deny my charges in 
tota — who will declare that the waltz is 
very moral and healthful, and entirely 
innocent and harmless, and that he who 
puts it in any other light is a knave and a 
vile slanderer. These of my opponents 
I may divide into two classes: First, those 
who know nothing of the matter, who 
have never danced, have scarcely ever 
seen a modern waltz, and are conse- 
quently unwilling to believe that such 
terrible things could be going on in 
their very midst without their knowl- 
edge ; and, secondly, those who do know 
and practice the abomination, and find 
"the fruit of the tree of knowledge" far 
too sweet to be hedged about as ** for- 

To the first of these classes I have 


little to say; it is composed mainly of 
"old fogies," the diversions of whose 
youth were innocent, and who can see 
no evil that does not sprawl in all its 
ugliness over the face of the community. 
If a courtesan accosted one of them on 
the street, they would be unutterably 
shocked, and so they certainly would if 
they on a sudden found themselves ex;;- 
periencing the '^perfect waltz," though 
even then it is doubtful if they would 
not' be shocked into dumbness and 
grieved into inaction. But of the vailed 
and subtle pleasures of the waltz they 
are profoundly ignorant — why should 
they not be ? They see no harm in it 
because they don't see it at all ; they are 
optimists through ignorance, and lift 
palms of deprecation at the mention of 
vice which they cannot understand 
or attain to. To these I say: open 
your eyes and look about you, even at 
the risk of seeing things not exactly 


as you fancied them to be; or, if you 
will remain obstinately blind, then pray 
do not deny that evil exists where you 
do not happen to see it with your eyes 
shut. I have painted the picture, you 
can compare it with the reality at your 

To the second class that I have men- 
tioned, namely, those who know and 
deny what they know, a far stronger 
condemnation is to be applied. It is 
composed of the dancers ^'* par excelletice, 
both male and female — who have tasted 
of the unholy pleasures of the waltz 
until it has become the very sap of their 
lives. These are the blushing rakes and 
ogling prydes who will be most bitter in 
their denunciation of this book and it^ 
author; and no wonder — I only oppose 
the prejudices of the others, but I con- 

* I have stated several times, and I now do so far the last 
time, that by *' dancers " I mean loalt^cn, I hope that my 
meaning will not be ^wilfully misconstrued. 


tend with the passions of these. These 
it is who are forever prating of the 
beauties and virtues of the waltz. It is 
an "innocent recreation," a ** healthful 
exercise," it is the "mother of grace" and 
the "poetry of motion;" no eulogy can 
be too extravagant for them to bestow 
upon their idol. They see no harm in it, 

not they, and for those who dare hint at 
such a thing, they have ever ready at 
their tongue s end that most convenient 
and abused of legends: Honi soil qui 
ntal y pense. They will catch at any 
straw to defend their pet amusement. 
They will tell you that The Preacher says 
"there is a time to dance," without stop- 
ping to inquire why that ancient cynic 
put the words "there is a time to 
mourn" in such close proximity. They 
will inform you that Plato, in his Com- 
monwealth, will have dancing-schools to 
be maintained, "that young folks may 
meet, be acquainted, see one another, 


and be seen," but they forget to mention 
that he will also have them dance naked, 
or to quote the comments of Eusebius 
and Theodoret upon Plato's plan. They 
think the secret of their great respect 
for the waltz is possessed only by them- 
selves, and hug the belief that by them 
that secret shall never be divulged. 
Bah! They must dance with the gas 
out if there is to be any secrecy in the 

Innocent and healthful recreation for- 
sooth! The grotesque abominations of 
the old Phallic worship had^ a basis of 
clean and wholesome truth, but as the 
obscene rites of that worship desecrated 
the principle that inspired them, so do 
the pranks of the "divine waltz" libel 
the impulse that stirs its wriggling devo- 
tees. The fire that riots in their veins 
and the motive that actuates their 
haunches is an honest flame and a 
decent energy when honestly and de- 


cently invoked, but if blood and muscle 
would be pleased to indulge their impo- 
tent raptures m private, the warmer 
virtues would not be subjected to open 
caricature, nor the colder to downright 


What do I mean by such insinuations ? 
Nay, then, gentle reader, I will not 
insinuate, but will boldly state that with 
the class with which I am now dealing — 
the dancers par excellence^ the modern 
waltz is not merely " suggestive," as its 
opponents have hitherto charitably 
styled it, but an open and shameless 
gratification of sexual desire and a cooler 
of burning lust To lookers-on it is 
"suggestive" enough. Heaven knows, 
but to the dancers — that is to say, to the 
"perfect dancers"^ — it is an actual realiza- 
tion of a certain physical ecstacy which 
should at least, be indulged in private 
and no pure person should experience 
save under the sanction of matrimony. 


And this is the secret to which I have 
alluded. It cannot even be claimed ^& 
private property any longer, 

" For shame!" cries the horrified (and 
non-waltzing) reader; '*how can you 
make such dreadfully false assertions! 
And who are these 'perfect dancers' 
you talk so much about .^ And how 
came you to know their ' secret ' as you 
terni it ? Surely no woman of even 
nominal decency would make such a 
horrible confession, and yet the most 
immaculate women waltz, and v/altz di- 

By your leave, I will answer these 
questions one at a time. Who are these 
** perfect waltzers?*' Of the male sex 
there are several types, of which I need 
only mention two. 

The first is your lively and handsome 
young man — a Hercules in brawn and 
muscle — ^who exults in his strength and 
glories in his manhood. Dancing comes 


naturally to him, as does everything else 
that requires grace and skill. He is a 
ruthless hunter to whom all game is fair 
The gods have made him beautiful and 
strong, and the other sex recognize and 
appreciate the fact. Is it to be expected 
of Alcibiades that he scorn the Athenian 
lasses, or of Phaon the Fair that he avoid 
the damsels of Mytelene.'^ No indeed! 
it is for the husband and father to take 
care of the women — /le can take care of 
himself. Yet even this gay social pirate 
and his like might take a hint from the 

** But )e — who never felt a single thought 

For what our morals are co be, or ought ; 

Who wisciy wish the charms you view to reap, 

Say — ^would you make those beauties quite so cheap?** 

But this fine animal is by no means 
the most common or degraded type of 
ball-room humanity. It would be per« 
haps better it he were. In his mighty 
embrace a woman would at least have 
the satisfaction of knowing that she was 


dancing with a wholesome creature, 
however destitute he might be of the 
finer feelings that go to make up what 
is called a man. 

No, the most common type of the 
male "perfect dancer" is of a different 
stamp. This is the blockhead who 
covers his brains with his boots — to 
whom dancing is the one serious 
practical employment of life, and who, 
it must be confessed, is most diligent 
and painstaking in his profession. He 
is chastity's paramour — strong and lusty 
in the presence of the unattainable, fee- 
ble-kneed and trembling in the glance 
of invitation ; in pursuit a god, in pos- 
session an incapable — satyr of dalliance, 
eunuch of opportunity. This creature 
dances divinely. He has given his 
mind to dancing, has never got it back, 
and is the richer for that. He haunts 
"hops" and balls because his ailing 
virility finds a feast in the paps and 


gruels of love there dispensed. It is 
he to whose contaminating embrace 
your wi — I mean your neighbor's wife 
or daughter, dear reader, is oftenest sur- 
rendered, to whet his dulled appetite for 
strong meats of the bagnio — nay to 
coach him for offences that must be 
nameless here. She performs her func- 
tion thoroughly, conscientiously, wholly 
— merges her idetitity in his, and lo! 
the Beast with two Backs ! 

A pretty picture is it not } — the Grand 
Passion Preservative dragged into the 
blaze of gas to suffer pious indignities at 
the hand of worshippers who worship 
not wisely, but too well ! The true 
Phallos set up at a cross-roads to re- 
ceive the homage of strolling dogs — 
male and female created he them ! Bah ! 
these orgies are the spawn of unman- 
nerly morals. They profane our civili- 
zation, and are an indecent assault upon 
common sense. It is nearly as common 

"CjEsars wife, etc. 55 

as the dance itself, to hear the male 
participants give free expresssion, loose 
tongued, to the lewd emotions, the sen- 
sual pleasure, in which they indulge when 
locked in the embrace of your wives and 
daughters ; if this be true, if by any pos- 
sibility it can be true, tha^ a lady how- 
ever innocent in thought is exposed to 
lecherous comments of this description! 
then is it not also true tnat every woman 
possessing a remnant of delicacy, will 
flee from the dancing-hall as from a 


" What 1 the girl that ] love by anocher embiaceil I 
Another man's arm round ni|r choieo one'a wjuitl 
Whit I touched in the twirl by another man'i l[n« ; 

Sir, she '< )--uts; you havebtuihed from the grape irttoft blue. 

From the rose you have shaken the delicate dew ; . 

What you've touched you may take — pretty Waltier, adjni 1" 

ri ET us now consider the female 
^ element in this immodesty. 
3 Is the woman equally to blame 
jj with the man? ' Is she the un- 
conscious instrument of his lust, or the 
conscious sharer in it ? We shall sec. 

In the first place, it is absolutely nec- 
essary that she shall be able and will- 
ing to reciprocate the feelings of her 
partner before she can graduate as a 


"divine dancer." Until she can and 
will do this she is regarded as a **scrub" 
by the male experts, and no matter what 
her own opinion of her proficiency may 
be she will surely not be sought as a 
companion in that pidce de resistance 
of the ball-room the "after — supper 

Horrible as this statement seems, it is 
the truth and nothing but the truth, and 
though I could affirm it upon oath from 
what I have myseli heard and seen, I 
fortunately am able to confirm it by the 
words of a highly respected minister of 
the gospel — Mr, W. C. Wilkinson, who 
some years ago published in book form 
an article on "The Dance of Modern 
Society," which originally appeared in 
one of our American Quarterly Reviews. 

This gentleman gives a remark over- 
heard on a railway car, in a conversation 
that was passing between two young 
men about their lady acquaintances. 



"The horrible concreteness ot the fel- 
low's expression," says Mr Wilkinson, 
" may give a wholesome recoil from 
danger to some minds that would be 
little affected by a speculative statement 
of the same idea. Said one : I would 
not give a straw to dance with Miss 

; you can't excite any more 

passion in her than you can in a stick of 
wood." Can anything be plainer than 

" Pure young women of a warmer 
temperament," the same reverend author 
subsequently adds, "who innocently 
abandon themselves to enthusiastic proc- 
lamations of their delight in the dance in 
the presence of gentlemen, should but 
barely once have a male intuition of the 
meaning of the involuntary glance that 
will often shoot across from eye to eye 
among their auditors. Or should over- 
hear the comments exchanged among 
them afterwards. For when young men 


meet after an evening of the dance to 
talk it over together, it is not points of 
dress they discuss. Their only demand 
(in this particular) and it is generally 
conceded, is that the ladies' dress shall 
not needlessly embarrass suggestion." 

But here is one of my own experiences 
in this connection. At a fashionable 
sociable, I was approached by a friend 
who had been excelling himself in Terp- 
sichorean feats during the whole evening. 
This friends was a very handsome man, 
a magnificent dancer, and of course a 
great favorite with the ladies. I had 
been watching him while he waltzed 
with a young and beautiful lady, also of 
my acquaintance, and had been filled 
with wonder at the way he had foldled 
her in his arms — literally fondling her 
upon his breast, and blending her deli- 
cate melting form into his ample embrace 
in a manner that was marvellous to be- 


hold. They had whirled and writhed 
in a corner for fully ten minutes — the 
fury of lust in his eyes, the languor of 
lust in hers — until gradually she seemed 
to lose her senses entirely, and must 
have slipped down upon the floor when 
he finally released her from his embrace 
had it not been for the support of his arm 
and shoulder. Now as he came up to 
me all flushed and triumphant I remarked 
to him that he evidently enjoyed this 
thing very much. 

"Of course I do," he answered. 
" Why not r 

** But I should think," said I, not wish- 
ing to let him see that I knew anything 
about the matter from experience, " that 
your passions would become unduly ex- 
cited by such extremely close contact 
with the other sex." 

"Excited!" he replied, "of course they 
do; but not unduly — ^what else do you 
suppose I come here for.*^ And don't 


you know, old fellow/' he added in a 
burst of confidence, ** that this waltzing 
is the grandest thing in the world. 
While you are whirling one of those 
charmers — if you do it properly, mind 
you — you can whisper in her ear things 
which she would not listen to at any 
other time. Ah! but she likes it then, 
and comes closer jitill, and in response 
to the pressure of her hand, your arm 
tightens about her waist, and then" — but 
here he grew very eloquent at the bare 
remembrance, and the morals of the 
printer must be respected. 

" But," said I, "I should be afraid to 
take such liberties with a . respectable 

" O," he answered, "thats nothing — 
they like it; but, as I said before, you 
must know how to do it; there must be 
no blundering; they wont stand that. 
The best place to learn to do the thing 
correctly is in one of those dance -cellars ; 



there you can take right hold of them. 
The girls there are " posted," you know; 
and they'll soon "post" you. Let every- 
thing go loose. You will soon fall into 
the step. All else comes natural. I go 
round amongst them all. Come with me 
a few nights, 1 11 soon make a waltzer of 
you — you will see what there is in it." 
He still rests under the promise to "show 
me round '^ in the intierests of the diffu- 
sion of useful knowledge; and if he does 
not trace the authorship of this book to 
me, and take offence thereat, I will go at 
some future time. It must indeed be 
"jolly," as he called it, to possess such 
consumate skill in an art which makes the 
wives and daughters of our "best people" 
the willing instruments of his lechery. 
Oh yes — I musi /earn. This is a su- 
preme accomplishment I cannot afford 
to be without. It has been said that 
out of evil comes good, and assuredly 
"this is an evil born with all its teeth." 



"Ah, yes," continued my enthusiastic 
friend, "it isn't the whirling that makes 
the waltz, and those who think it is are 
the poorest dancers. A little judi- 
cious handling will make a sylph out of 
the veriest gawk of a girl that ever 
attempted the "light fantastic;" and 
once manage to initiate one of those 
stay-at-home young ladies, and FU war- 
rant you she 11 be on hand at every ball 
she is invited to for the rest of that 
season I'll wager, sir, that there isn't a 
"scrub" in this room who Just knows 
the step but what I can make a dancer 
of her in fifteen minutes — the dear 
creatures take to it naturally when 
they are properly taught. But don't 
forget to come with me to the 'dives 
one of these evenings and I'll show you 
what there is in it." And this was the 
estimation in which this man held the 
ladies of his acquaintance: this is the 
kind of satyr to the quenching of whose 



filthy lusts we are to furnisn our wives 
and daughters; this is the manner of 
Minotaur who must be fed upon comely 
virgins — may he recognize a Theseus in 
these pages! 

And yet, dear reader, do not imagine 
that this man was a social ogre of un- 
usual monstrosity No, indeed, he was, 
and is, a "very nice young man;" he is, 
in fact, commonly regarded as a model 
young man. Nor must you imagine 
that his partner had a single stain upon 
her reputation. She is a young lady of 
the highest respectability; she takes a 
great interest in Sunday schools, is reg- 
ular at the communion-table, makes flan- 
nel waistcoats for the heathen, and is on 
all sides allowed to be the greatest catch 
of the season in the matrimonial market. 
If she and the young man in question 
meet in the street, a modest bow on her 

part, and a respectful lifting of the hat 
on his, are the only greetings inter- 


changed — he may enjoy her body- in the 
ball-room, but, you see, he is not well 
enough acquainted with her to take her 
hand on the street. 


<* Where Uvo the man thu hith not tried 
How minh cin Into fi)]ly glide. 

And folly into tin ! "—Scott. 

ri HE conversation I have given 
I in the last chapter is faithfull)' 
f leported — it is exact in spirit 
iJ very nearly so in letter ; we may 
surely believe that the clergyman from 
whom I have quoted some pages back, 
was honest in his statements, and I 
think that there can be no man who 
has mixed among his sex in the ball- 
room and not heard similar remarks 
made. All this is, it seems to me, 
ample proof of the fact which I set 
out to demonstrate, namely, that the 

THE woman's part. 67 

lechery of the waltz is not confined to 
the males, but is consciously partici- 
pated in by the females, and if further 
evidence be needed, then, I say, take 
the best of all— watch the dancers at 
their sport — mark well the faces, the 
contortions of body and limb, and be 
convinced against your will. But even 
over and beyond this, I shall now lay 
before you a kind of testimony which 
you will be surprised to find brought 
to bear on the case. 

Shortly after I had determined to 
publish a protest against the abomina- 
tions of the waltz, it became plainly 
apparent to me that I must if possible 
obtain the views on the subject of some 
intelligent and well known lady, whose 
opinion would be received with respect 
by all the world. With this end in 
view, I addressed one of the most emi- 
nent and renowned women of America. 
I could not fortell the result of such a 


Step, I certainly did not expect it to be 
what it is, I hardly dared to hope that 
she would accede to my request in any 
shape. But I knew that if she did 
speak, it would be according to her 
honest convictions, and I resolved in 
that event to publish her statement 
whatever it might be. This lady freely 
and generously offered me the use of 
her name, and as this would be of great 
value to my undertaking, I had origi- 
nally intended to print it; but upon 
consideration I have concluded that it 
would be a poor return for her kindness 
and self-devotion, to subject her to the 
fiery ordeal of criticism she would in 
that case have to endure, and for this 
reason, and this only, I withhold her 
name for the present. But I do earn- 
estly assure the reader that if ever the 
words of a great and good woman de- 
served respectful attention, it is these : — 
'*You ask me to say what I think 

A woman's, experience. 69 

about 'round dances/ I am glad of the 
opportunity to lay my opinion on that 
subject before the world; though, in- 
deed I scarcely know what I can write 
which you have not probably already 
written. I will, however, venture to lay 
bare a young girls heart and mind by 
^ giving you my own experience in the 
days when I waltzed. 

"In those times I cared little for 
Polka or Varsovienne, and still less 
for the old-fashioned 'Money Musk' 
or 'Virginia Reel,' and wondered what 
people could find to admire in those 
'slow dances.' But in the soft float- 
ing of the waltz I found a strange 
pleasure, rather difficult to intelligibly 
describe. The mere anticipation flut- 
tered my pulse, and when my partner 
approached to claim my promised hand 
for the dance I felt my cheeks glow a 
little sometimes, and I could not look 
him in the eyes with the same frank 
gaiety as heretofore. 


"But the climax of my confusion 
was reached when, folded in his warm 
embrace, and giddy with the whirl, 
a strange, sweet thrill would shake 
me from head to foot, leaving me 
weak and almost powerless and really 
almost obliged to depend for support 
upon the arm which encircled me. If 
my partner failed from ignorance, lack 
of skill, or innocence, to arouse these, 
to me, most pleasurable sensations, I 
did not dance with him the second 

"I am speaking openly and frankly, 
and when I say that I did not understand 
what I felt, or what were the real and 
greatest pleasures I derived from this so- 
called dancing, I expect to be believed. 
But if my cheeks grew red with uncom- 
prehended pleasure then, they grow pale 
with shame to-day when I think of it 
all. It was the physical emotions en- 
gendered by the magnetic contact of 



Strong men that I was enamoured of — 
not of the dance, nor even of the men 

"Thus I became abnormally devel- 
oped in my lowest nature. I grew 
bolder, and from being able to return 
shy glances at first, was soon able to 
meet more daring ones, until the waltz 
beQame . to me a.nd whomsoever danced 
with me, one lingering, sweet, and purely 
sensual pleasure, where heart beat against 
heart, hand was held in hand, and eyes 
looked burning words which lips dared 
not speak. 

"All this while no one said to me: 
you do wrong; so I dreamed of sweet 
words whispered during the dance, 
and often felt while alone a thrill of joy 
indescribable yet overpowering when my 
mind would turn from my studies to 
remember a piece of temerity of unusual 
grandeur on the part of one or another 
of my cavaliers. 


"Girls talk to each other. I was still 
a school girl although mixing so much 
with the world. We talked together. 
We read romances that fed our romantic 
passions on seasoned food, and none 
but ourselves knew what subjects we 
discussed. Had our parents heard us 
they would have considered us on the 
high road to ruin. ' 

"Yet we had been taught that it wals 
right to^ dance; our parents did it, our 
friends did, and we were permitted. I will 
say also that all the girls with whom I 
associated, with the exception of one, had 
much the same experience in dancing; 
felt the same strangely sweet emotions, 
and felt that almost imperative necessity 
for a closer communion than that which 
eV6n the freedom of a waltz permits^ 
without knowing exactly why, or even 
comprehending what. 

" Married now, with home and children 
around me, I can at least thank God for 


the experience which will assuredly be 
the means of preventing my little daugh- 
ters from indulging in any such danger- 
ous pleasure. But, if a young girl, pure 
and innocent in the beginning, can be 
brought to feel what I have confessed to 
have felt, what must be the experience 
of a married woman ? She knows what 
every glance of the eye, every bend of 
the head, every close clasp means, and 
knowing that reciprocates it and is led 
by swifter steps and a surer path down 
the dangerous, dishonorable road. 

"I doubt if my experience will be of 
much service, but it is the candid truth, 
from a woman who, in the cause of all 
the young girls who may be contaminat- 
ed, desires to show just to what extent 
a young mind may be defiled by the 
injurious . effects of round dances. I 
have not hesitated to lay bare what are 
a young girls most secret thoughts, in 
the hope that people will stop and con- 




sider, at least before handing their Jillies 
of purity over to the arms of any one 
who may choose to blow the frosty 
breath of dishonor on their petals." 

And this is the experience of a woman 
of unusual strength of character — one 
whose intellect has gained her a world- 
wide celebrity and earned for her the 
respect and attention of multitudes 
wherever the English language is spok- 
en. What hope is there then for ordi- 
nary women to escape from this mental 
and physical contamination ? which 

'• Turni~]f nothing du— at lean our hodl." 

None whatever. 


'< II fault bien dire que la danse est quasi le comble de tous 
vices * * * * c'est le <ommenceinent d'unc ordure, 
laquelle je ne veux declarer. Pour en parler rcndement, il m'est 
advis que c^est une maniere de tout villaine et barbare * * * 
A quoy servent tant de saults que font ces filles, soustenues des 
compagnons par soubs les bras; a fin de regimber plus hault? 
Quel plaisir prennent ces sauterelles a se tormenter ainsi et 
demener la pluspart des miicts sans se souler ou lasser de la 
daiMcr L. V1VE8. 

ANY will say — have said — By- 
ron wrote against the wakz 
because a physical infirmity 
prevented him from waltzing— 
that ne is not a proper person to quote 
as an example for others to follow. It 
must be conceded that whatever his mo- 
tive was, he we/l knew what he was 
writing about, and whatever his practices 


may have been in other respects, it is to 
his credit that his sense of the proprie- 
ties of life were not so blunted as to 
render him blind to this cause of gross 
public licentiousness. 

But, unlike Byron, I have, as has 
been stated before, practical experience^ 
and positive knowledge in the matter 
whereof I speak, and am possessed of 
the most convincing assurances that my 
utterances will be received with joy by 
thousands of husbands and fathers whose 
views have been down-trodden — their 
sentiments disregarded, and their notions 
of morality held up to scorn because 
they disapprove of this "innocent amuse* 

It has also been before said that this 
vice was "seemingly tolerated by all," 
but I am proud to say that the placard 
posted about the streets announcing a 
" Sunday School Festival — dancing 
TO commence at nine o'clock/' does 


not reflect the sentiments of the entire 
community; that in all the marts of 
businiess, in every avenue of trade, in 
counting-house and in work-shop, men 
are to be found who would shrink with 
horror from exposing their wives and 
daughters to the allurements of the dance- 
hall— men who form a striking contrast 
to those simpering simpletons who sym- 
pathize with their feelings, but have not 
the courage to maintain the family honor 
by enforcing their views in the domestic 

It is only a few years since the Frank- 
fort Journal announced that the author- 
ities had decided, in the interest of good 
morals, that in future dancing-masters 
should not teach their art to children 
who had not yet been confirmed. The 
teaching of dancing in boarding-houses 
and hotek was also forbidden. It is not 
desirable that the law should 'interfere 
with purely domestic affairs, but really it 


seems as if those unfortunate parents and 
husbands who shudder at the evil but 
are awed into silence by ridicule or open 
rebellion, stand in as urgent need of the 
law s assistance as the Magdeburg god- 
fathers and godmothers. 

I well know that many young ladies 
profess entire innocence of any impure 
emotions during all this "palming work." 

To them let me say: If you are so 
sluggish in your sensibilities as this would 
imply, then you are not yet fit subjects for 
the endearments of married life, and can 
give but poor promise of securing your 
husband s affection. But if on the other 
hand (as in most cases is true) you ex- 
perience the true bliss of this intoxication, 
then indeed will the ground of your 
emotions be pretty well worked over 
before you reach the hymeneal altar, and 
the nuptial couch will have but little to 
offer for your consideration with which 
you are not already in some measure 


A friend at my elbow remarks. "I 
agree with you perfectly, but my wife 
likes these dances, — sees no harm in 
them, and her concluding and unan- 
swerable argument is, that if I danced 
them, I should like them just as well as 
she does." The truth of this latter 
statement depends upon your moral 
perceptions. There is but one answer 
to the former, given by "Othello," 

** This is the curse of Marriage : 
We call these delicate creatures ours — 
But not their appetites." 

If you are so lax in your attention — 
so deficient in those qualities which go 
to make a woman happy — that she seeks 
the embrace of other men to supply the 
more than half acknowledged need — if 
this be true, my friend, I leave the mat- 
ter with you — it belongs to another class 
of subjects, treated of by Doctor Acton 
of London — I refer you to his able 


Another says: Both my wife and I 
enjoy these dances. We see no par- 
ticular harm in them — "to the pure all 
things are pure." The very same thing 
may be said by the habitues of other 
haunts of infamy — 

*' Vice is a monster of so frightful mien. 
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ; 
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.** 

There is, again, a very large class of 
dancers who frankly allow that there is 
immorality in the modern waltz, but in- 
sist that this immorality need not be, 
and by them is not, practised. They 
dance — but very properly, you know. 
These are the Pharisees who beat their 
breasts in public places, crying fie! upon 
their neighbors, and bravo! upon them- 

Of course, they will tell you, there are 
persons who are excited impurely by the 
waltz, but these are persons who would 


be immoral under any circumstances. 
" To the pure all things are pure.'' It 
is astonishing how apt they are with 
these tongue-worn aphorisms. To the 
pure all things are pure, — yes, but purity 
is only a relative virtue whose value is 
fixed by the morai standard of the in- 
dividual. What would be pure to some 
would be grossly impure to others, and 
when you place your wife or daughter 
in the arms of such salacious gentry as 
have been described in the foregoing 
pages are you not pretty much in the 
position of the gentleman who when 
gravely informed by a guest who was 
taking an unaccountably hasty leave 
that his (the host's) wife had lewdly en- 
treated him, replied : " But, my friend, 
that is nothing ; your wife did as much 
for me when I visited you last year." 
This gentleman, remember, was also 
ready to add : "to the pure all things 
are pure." The Waltz should assuredly 


have figured among the "pure impuri- 
ties" of Petronius. 

But even if it be allowed that a lady 
can waltz virtuously, I have already 
shown that in that case she must not 
dance welL And what a pitiful specta- 
cle, surely, is that of a lady trying "how 
not to do it"— converting her natural 
grace into clumsiness in order that she 
ma^ do an indecent thing decently, and 

*' Warm but not wanton ; dazzled, but not blind.** 

But perhaps she cannot waltz. In that 
case how long will it take her to learn ? 
Will not one single dance lower her 
standard of purity if her partner happens 
to be one of the adepts I have de- 
scribed ? 

" But," cries the fair dancer " you 
must remember that no lady wiir permit 
herself to be introduced to, or accept as a 
partner, any but a gentleman, who she is 
sure will treat her with becoming respect.*' 



I will not stop to inquire what her 
definition of a "gentleman" is — whether 
the most courteous and urbane of men 
may not be a most desperate rou6 at 
heart The attitude and •contact are 
the same in any case, and if it needs 
must be that a husband is to see his 
wife folded in the close embrace of 
another man, is it any consolation for 
him to know that her partner is eligible 
as a rival in other respects than his nim- 
ble feet — that he who is brushing the 
bloom from his peach is at least his 
equal? Can you stop to consider the 
intellectual Accomplishments and social 
status of the man who has invaded the 
sacred domain of your wife's chamber ? 
No — equally unimportant is it to you, 
who or what he may be — that has thus 
exercised a privilege reserved by all 
pure-minded women for their husbands 

But in this matter of the selection of 



the fittest the ladies have set up a man 
of straw, which I must - proceed to 
demolish. In order that the lawless 
contact may be impartially distributed, 
and that no* lady may be free to choose 
whose sexual magnetism she shall ab- 
sorb, we have imported from across the 
water a foreign variety of the abomina- 
tion, by which ingenious contrivance the 
color of the ribbon a lady chances to 
hold determines who shall have the use 
of her body in the waltz, and places her 
in the pitiable predicament of the "poore 
bryde" at ancient French weddings, who, 
as we read in Christen, "State of Mat- 
rimony," must "kepe foote with all dan- 
cers, and refuse none, how scabbed, foule, 
droncken, rude, and shameless soever he 

Nor are even the square dances any 
longer left as a refuge for the more 
modest, for to such a pitch has the pas- 
sion for this public sexual intimacy 


come, that the waltz is now inseparably 
wedded to the quadrille. Even the old 
fogies are sometimes trapped by this 
device. A quadrille is called and they 
take their places feeling quite safe. 
"First couple forward!" "Cross over!" 
"Change partners!" "Waltz up and 
down the centre!" "Change over!" 
"All hands waltz round the outside!" 
and before they know it their sedate 
notions are lost in the "waltz quadrille." 
It may be said that every arrangement 
of the dance looks to an "equitable" 
distribution of each lady's favors. It is 
a recognized fact that a lady dancing 
repeatedly with the same gentleman 
shows a marked preference thereby — 
and he is deemed rude and selfish who 
attempts to monoplize his affianced, Or 
shows reluctance in resigning her to the 
arms of another. 


ned all wivei to Daliliht, 
WhoH hiubindi were nol lot the ciuec ; 
And turned the men Co ten-hom'd canlc, 
ficciiuc thcf went not out to battle." 

Samuil Butlii. 

n ONE time ago a lady friend said 

; to me; "How is it that while 

I so many of you gentlemen are 

il fond of dancing until you are 

married, yet from that moment few 

of you can be induced to dance any 

more. In fact it is a fraud perpetrated 

upon young ladies; you fall in love with 

them in the ball room, you court them 

there, you marry them there, and they 

naturally think you will continue to take 


them there. But no — thenceforth they 
must stay at home, or if you are induced 
to go occasionally, you are as cross and 
ill-natured about it as possible; as 
though it was something dreadful. If 
the dancing-hall is good enough to get 
a wife in, is it not good enough to take 
a wife to ? " 

My dear lady, said I, you have stated 
the case with a fairness not often met 
with in an opponent. There can be no 
stronger evidence (none other is re- 
quired) to establish the sexualism of the 
popular dance than that which you have 
just cited. The privileges of matrimony 
relieve the necessity for the dance. The 
lover is compelled to share that which 
the husband considers all his own. 
Those who, while single, were most 
deeply versed in the mysteries and 
pleasures of the waltz are, when mar- 
ried, the first to proclaim their abhor- 
rence of it, too often, it is true, in a mild 
and impotent protest, but not always. 


Is the reader acquainted with Boye- 
sen's novel called "Gunhar?" If so he 
will remember that Ragnhild was to wed 
Lars under the pressure of parental au- 
thority. She preferred, however, the 
valiatit, dancing Gunnar. "Ha! ha! ha!'' 
cried he, ''strike up a tune and that a 
right lusty one!" The music struck up, 
he swung upon his heel, caught the girl 
who stood nearest him round the waist; 
and whirled away with her. Suddenly 
he stopped and gazed right into her face, 
and who should it be but Ragnhild. She 
begged and tried to release herself from 
his arm, but he lifted her from the floor, 
made another leap, and danced away, so 
that the floor shook under them." 

"Gunnar, Gunnar," whispered she, 
"please, Gunnar, let me go" — he heard 
nothing. "Gunnar," begged she again, 
now already half surrendering, "only 
think what mother would say if she 
were here." But now she began to feel 


the spell of the dance. The walls, the 
roof, and the people began to whirl 
round her in a strange, bewildering cir- 
cle; at one moment the music seemed 
to be winging its way to her from an 
unfathomable depth in an inconceivable, 
measureless distance, and in the next it 
was roaring and booming in her ears 
with the rush and din of an infinite cat- 
aract of tone. Unconsciously her feet 
moved, to its measure, her heart beat to 
it, and she forgot her scruples, her fear, 
and everything but him in the bliss of 
the dance. 

Gunnar knew how to tread the spring- 
ing dance, and no one would deny him 
the rank of the first dancer in the 
valley, so, it was a dance worth seeing, 
and of the girls, there was scarcely one 
who did not wish herself in the happy 
Ragnhild's place" — (of course they did.) 
After the music had ceased, it was some 
time before Ragnhild fully recovered 



her senses — (quite likely) ; she still 
clung fast to Gunnar s arm, the floor 
seemed to be heaving and sinking under 
her — (quite common in such cases), and 
the space was filled with a vague, dis- 
tant hum." (Why not ?) 

Later, the gleaming knife in the hands 
of Lars, showed that he but too plainly 
understood the nature of the perform- 
ance in which his future wife had been 
engaged. And the sequel well attests, 
that his happiness did not increase with 
his knowledge. Even the vigor of a 
Norwegian climate was not sufficient to 
cool his fury. What a promising field 
for future operations must sunnier 
climes present for such enterprising 
young gentlemen. 

Follow the subject a little further and 
it will be seen that Ragnhild lost more 
than her head in the bewildering whirl. 
Now let me ask any father or mother 
(or husband if you will), — any man pos- 


sessing a grain of common sense, if 
Ragnhild was in a safe condition to be 
shown by Gunnar, to one of our com- 
modious carriages and driven to her 
home (perhaps miles away) at three 
o'clock in the morning? 

'* Lead us not into temptation." 

Yet this is done — is permitted by very 
many of our so-called "prudent parents" 
and while they are crying out about 
** social evils/' are doing all in their 
power to furnish recruits for the great 
army of the infamous. 

** Deliver us from evil.** 

There are two types of married ladies 
who practise, and of course enjoy, the 
waltz, and lest either might discover the 
portrait of the other and take offence 
that her own lovely face was not used to 
adorn these pages, each shall have a 
separate notice. They will probably 
have already recognized portraits of 



themselves in this volume, but the object 
here is more particularly to distinguish 
between the two. 

The first of these we may safely call 
semi-respectable — ^she is so partly from 
necessity, partly from choice — from 
choice because she regards it as the 
** proper thing" that her husband should 
dance attendance while she dances 
something else, during the performance 
of which, the poet tells us, 

** The fair one's breast 
Gives all it can and bids us take the rest." 

She has not yet quite reached that 
stage of shamelessness when she can ca- 
rouse the entire night without some 
lingering regard for what Mrs. Grundy 
will say; besides this, she is not quite 
sure of her position, and does not !:now 
exactly how much her husband will 
bear. She is afflicted with a bare sus- 
picion that his docile nature might be 
over taxed — that in the pigeon holes of 


his dull cranium might be found a desire 
to make it rather lively if too openly 
slighted. "Oh, no," she reasons, "take 
him along— r his presence makes it all 
right — his smile gives sanction to all 
that may happen. When he is with me 
who dare complain ?" 

But the woman whom it would be my 
joy to describe, whose perfections surpass 
description, is moved by no such paltry 
considerations. She glories in an inde- 
pendence which scorns all such petty 
restraints. She it is whose insight into 
domestic politics descries the true posi- 
tion, " to go with her husband is a bore" 
— his very presence is a hindrance to a 
full and free exercise of all the privileges 
of the " Boston Dip." . She can find it 
in her heart now to laugh at the ridicu- 
lous vow she made when playing that 
old-fashioned farce before the altar — ^the 
vow to " leave all others and cleave to 
him alone.'' How much pleasanter, 


surely, to cleave and cling to all others, 
and leave him alone. She may be 
"too ill" to attend with her husband; 
but let " Mr. Nimblefoot" — sprightly of 
heel and addled of brain — come along, 
with an invitation to attend a ball, and 
in a trice she so far recovers her declin- 
ing health as to make such an elaborate 
toilet that 

*' Not Cleopatra on her galley*! deck. 
Displays so much of leg, or more of neck.** 

Then it is, when with a disregard for 
neighborly comments which would do 
credit to a better cause, we see her in all 
her naked loveliness. No vulgar re- 
straint upon her movements, no "green- 
eyed monster" to inquire into her 
absence or take note of her doings. 
None to say 

"Methinkf the glare 6fy9Pi(ksr ch^iMcIier 
Shines much too hx — or I am much too near.'* 

But a more detailed account of this 
lady and of " how it all came about," is 


it not written in the chronicles of the 
Courts having " original jurisdiction " in 
cases of divorce ? 

Who, then, after reviewing this ghastly 
procession of moral lepers, shall find 
words wherewith to express his reverence 
and admiration for those pure-minded 
girls and women who refuse to dance — 
on principle! No renowned hero of 
ancient or modern times has a better 
right to claim the bays than the woman 
who, seeing the degradation of the mod- 
ern dance, has the independence and 
moral courage to avoid it. Her heroism 
is greater than you might suppose, for 
she is sorely tempted to do wrong on 
the one hand, and severely punished for 
doing right on the other. Tempted — 
because she is as fair and graceful as her 
less modest sisters, and naturally as fond 
oi man s admiration, and as sensible oi 
physical pleasure as they; punished — by 
the sneers of women who call her "prude" 


and " wall-flower," and by the slights put 
upon her by men who avoid her because 
she "doesn't dance." In spite of the 
example set by those whom she has 
perhaps been taught to regard as wiser 
and better than herself, she yet resists 
the fascination of the Social Basilisk 
from pure pride of womanhood, and 
sacrifices her inclinations upon the altar 
of modesty. 

These are the wives and daughters 
who do honor to their families. Their 
reward is the respect and admiration of 
all honorable men. 

" My child," said a friend of mine to 
his daughter who had declined to attend 
a " sociable " on the ground that dancing 
was improper, " my child, I honor your 
judgment, and let me give you a father s 
advice : never allow a man*s arm to en- 
circle your waist till you are married, 
and then only your husband s'' And 
this advice I re-echo to all young ladies. 


** lUic Hippolitum pone, Priapus erit.** 

^ Ovid. 

** Le Proverbe qui a couni a Tegard des Cloitres, dangereux 
comme le retour de matinesy en pouvoit produire un autre avec un 
petit changement, dangereux comme le retour du hal,** 


HERE are, of course, many 
other classes of waltzers to 
whom I might revert, though 
I have sought in vain for a 
single one that is entirely free from re- 
proach. It is however time that the 
evil should be viewed from other points. 
Let us consider some of its results and 

I have repeatedly declared, and I 
now do so again that the waltz has 


grown to be a purely sexual enjoy<netit. 
That I may not be supposed to stand 
alone in this assertion I will again quote 
the words of the worthy clergyman 
before referred to. He writes : 

The dance " consists substantially of a 
system of means contrived with more 
than human ingenuity to excite the in- 
stincts of sex to action, however subtile 
and disguised at the moment, in its se- 
quel the most bestial and degrading." 
And again: *'it is a usage that regularly 
titillates and tantalises an animal appe- 
tite as insatiable as hunger, more cruel 
than revenge." 

Gail Hamilton, to whose words most 
of us will attach some weight, I think, 
in a contribution to an Eastern journal, 
says: "The thing in its very nature is 
unclean and cannot be washed. The 
very pose of the parties suggests 
impurity." But I must go further than 
this, and assert that the pose and motions 

**TO THE PURE," ETC. 99 

of the parties cannot even be spoken of 
by a young lady without danger of com- 
mitting a double entendre at which many 
a " nice young man " will laugh in his 

I will illustrate this statement: A 
charming young lady, just arrived from 
abroad, informed me that we do not 
execute these new round dances "quite 
right" in this country. She describes it 
as having "two forward and two back- 
ward movements, then sideways, with a 
whirl." But she will "show me how to 
do it on the first opportunity." 

"That must, indeed, be nicer than the 
way we do it," said I, "though I have 
heard of a similar dance in the Sand- 
wich Islands." Yea, verily, "to the pure 
all things are pure." 

What ssiys St. Aldegonde in a letter 
written as long ago as 1577 to Caspar 
Verheiden ? He says that he approves 
of the course adopted by the Church of 


Geneva, which by interdicting the dance 
has abolished many filthy abuses of daily 
occurrence; it being the custom of the 
men to take young girls to balls at night 
and there to vex them by lewd postur- 
ing. No one, he contends, can look on 
at such a spectacle without sin; what 
then shall we say of those who take part 
in it. Much more he adds, and when I 
say that I dare not translate it here, the 
reader will be ready to believe that the 
worthy Saint is pretty plain-spoken in 
his strictures on th^ dance. But he is no 
more so than is Lambert Dane^u in his 
" Trait6 des Danses," the perusal of 
which might do some modern dancers 
good. And yet both these old writers 
only saw the play of Hamlet with Ham- 
let left out, for the Waltz did not ^xist in 
their day. 

Now, this being the case, what are we 
to suppose are its effects upon those 
who indulge in it ? Does the scandal 


end in the ball room, or, as Byron says» 
may we not marvel 

*' If nothing fbllowi all this palming work.** 

and do we not feel ourselves constrained 
to believe his assurance that 

** Something does follow at a fitter time.** 

That the waltz has been the acknowl* 
edged avenue to destruction for great 
multitudes, is a truth burnt into the 
hearts of thousands of downcast fathers 
and broken-hearted mothers; and the 
husbands are legion who can look upon 
hearths deserted and homes left desolate 
by wives and daughters who have been 
led captive by this magnificent burst of 
harmony and laying-on of hands. 

One of our ablest writers says : " it is 
a war on home, it is a war on physical 
health, it is a war on man's moral nature; 
this is the broad avenue through which 
thousands press into the brothel." The 
•'dancing hall is the nursery of the 


divorce Court, the training ship of pros- 
titution, the graduating school of in- 

Olaus Magnus tells us that the young 
people of the North danced among naked 
sword-blades and pointed weapons scat- 
tered upon the ground ; our young people 
dance among far deadlier dangers than 

Think of it, dear reader, picture to 
yourself the condition to which a young 
girl is reduced by the time that her car- 
riage is announced. All the baser in- 
stincts of her nature are aroused — to use 
the words of Erasmus she has " a pound 
of passion to an ounce of reason." Ans- 
wer me, is she not now in a fit state to 
fall an easy prey to the destroyer? And 
yet in this condition 

<* Hot from the hands promiscuously applied 
Round the slight waist or down the glowing side,** 

she is almost borne to her carriage by 
an escort, " flown with insolence and 


wine " arid whose condition is othei*wise 
similar to her own, except that the ex- 
citement of the moment makes him as 
bold and ardent, as it renders her lan- 
guid and compliant. He places her 
panting form upon the soft cushions, 
and with a whispered admonition to the 
coachman not to drive too fast, he en- 
sconces 'himself by her side. But here> 
as upon an earlier page, we must leave 
them. The hour, the darkness, every- 
thing is propitious — it is little short of a 
miracle if she escapes. 

" Look out, look out and see 

What object thU may be 

That doth perstringe mine eye ; 

A gallant lady goes 

In rich and gaudy clothes, 

But whither away God knows.** 

But let us charitably suppose that the 
sequel is only a continuation of the li- 
cense of the waltz, and that she reaches 
her home with merely the smell of the 
fire through which she has passed upon 


her garments — let us suppose that 
the Ah si liceret f of Caracalla has not 
been answered by the yielding quic- 
quid libet licet of his mother-in-law — 
and what is the result? The flame 
that has been aroused must be allayed. 
If she is unmarried, then in God's name^ 
let us inquire no farther; b.ut if she 
is a wife then is the dear indul- 
gent husband at home privileged to 
meet a want inspired in the embrace of 
'* the first dancer in the valley/* and to 
enjoy some advantage, at least, from the 
peculiar position which he sustains to- 
ward the matronly dancer. 

And now may we not take a peep at 
the fair danseuse as she comes into the 
breakfast-room at noon next day. Is 
this broken-down, used-up creature the 
radiant beauty of the night before 'i. Can 
it be that that " healthful recreation," the 
Waltz, has painted those dark circles 
round her eyes and planted those wrin- 
kles on her brow ? 


'^Alas, the mother, that her bars. 
If she could stand in presence there, 
In that wan cheek and wasted air 

She would not know her child.** 

She is paying now for the sweetness 
of " stolen waters " and the pleasantness 
of bread "eaten in secret." For the 
next week what pleasure will husband, 
father, or brother, derive from her 
society. She is ill and peevish — she is 
damaged both in body and soul. For 
the next week, did I say ? Well, I 
meant until the next invitation to a 
dance arrives. That is the magic elixir 
that will brighten the dull eyes and recall 
the dead smiles to life. Then invoking 
the rejuvenating spirit of the cosmetic- 
box and tricked out in the finery which 
those most near, but not most dear, to 
her have toiled to purchase, she will 
sally forth to lavish upon the lechers of 
the ball-room a gracious sweetness which 
she never showed at home. 

But where is Apollo all this time ? 


We left him burning with half satiated 
lust before the gate of his paramour s 


mansion. Where will Ae go to complete 
his debauch ? At what strange foun- 
tains will Ae quench the flame that is 
devouring him ? Go ask the harlot ! 
SAe will reap the harvest that has ripened 
in the warm embrace of maids and 
mothers. She is equally fortunate with 
the husband described above. Ah, 
well ! verily it zs an ill wind that blows 
nobody good. 

The Waltz is, therefore, in its effects, 
fearfully disastrous to both sexes, but 
nevertheless the woman is the greater 
sufferer — physically, because what is 
fatal excess for a woman may be only 
hurtful indulgence for a man, and mor- 
ally, because she loses that without 
which her beauty and grace are but a 
curse — man s respect. 

r And her punishment is just, her fault 
being more inexcusable than his. For 


woman is the natural and acknowledged 
custodian of morals. It is she who fixes 
the standard of modesty — a variable 
standard, it is true, different in different 
ages and countries, but always sufficiently 
well-defined. She draws across the path 
of passion, lines limiting, on the one hand, 
the license of masculine approach, on the 
other, the liberty of feminine concession. 
To a certain extent man may blamelessly 
accept whatever privileges she is pleased 
to accord him, without troubling himself 
to consider *'too curiously" their con- 
sistency with the general tenor of her 
decrees. It is her discretion in such 
matters that must, in a large way, pre- 
serve the race from fatal excess. When, 
therefore, she shamelessly violates this 
sacred trust which nature and society 
have confided to her, it is to be expected 
that the ball-room roti^ should regard 
her as something lower than the harlot, 
who at least ministers to his lusts in a 
natural manner. 


But, what is worse still, she also loses 
moral caste with those who have more 
than a negative respect for honorable 
women. For even your gentleman is 
no professor of heroic virtues, and the 
same easy courtesy with which he dis- 
misses the soliciting courtesan, restrains 
him from wounding, even by implica- 
tion, the merely facile fair being whom 
favoring fortune has as yet prevented 
from taking to the street. He dissem- 
bles his disgust, begs the honor of her 
hand for the next dance, flutters her 
pulses to her soul's satisfaction, and re- 
gards her ever thereafter with tranquil, 
philosophical contempt. And so they 
come to mutually despise each other; she 
sets no value on his flattering praises, he 
no longer cares for her good opinion — 
the wine of woman's approval has gone 
stale, and the sunshine of man's admira- 
tion is darkened in her eyes. 



**So she looks into her heart, and lo ! Vacuc^ udts et inania 
arcana * * * And the man is himself, and the woman 
herself; that dream of love is over as everything else is over in 
life; as flowers and fury, as griefs and pleasures are over.** 


*' Wir haben lang genug geliebt, und woUen endlich hassen.** 

Gborgb Hkrwkgh. 

UT this "innocent amusement" 
entails worse consequences than 
these. It is the high-road to the 
divorce court, it has brought 
strife and misery into ten thousand 
happy homes; truly it is the "abomina- 
tion that maketh desolation." 

Take the case of the poor, dull, stupid 
Benedick who, like Byron with his club 
foot, dances not at all. He is a splendid 


man of business, perhaps, and is highly- 
respected on change; but here, in the 
ball-room, what is he ? A dolt, a ninny, 
an old fogy, a nuisance — to be snubbed 
and slighted by the woman he calls wife 
for every brainless popingay who 
''dances divinely/* He has been proud 
to toil from day to day to be able to 
purchase costly apparel with which to 
adori' this far better half of his; now he 
has the felicity of seeing the fine fruits 
of his labor dangled about the legs of 
another man; he had supposed her the 
"wife of his bosom,** yet,, behold! she 
reclines most lovingly on the bosom of 
another; she is the mother of his children, 
yet as she quivers in her partner's arms, 
her face is troubled with 

"The half-told wish and ill-dissembled flame/* 

He has, pride enough to attempt to 
look interested, and to affect ignorance 
of his own shame, but the sham is ap- 
parent. Note how uneasily he sits upon 


the benches provided for such "wall- 
flowers " as himself. Anyone who Mrill 
take the trouble to observe him, can see 
that his heart is not in the waltz in which 
his spouse is taking such a lively interest. 
Approach him, now, and tell him that it 
is a very nice party, and that he seems 
to be enjoying himself. " Oh very nice,'' 
he answers with a ghastly grin intended 
for a smile, "I am enjoying it greatly." 
But now incidentally remark that after 
all you have no great liking for these 
"fancy dances," and see how quickly a 
fellow-feeling will make him wondrous 
confidential, as he answers: 

" To tell the truth, I don't like them 
at all" 

Perhaps you have known him when a 
bachelor and have seen him dance then. 
You mention this fact. 

" O yes," he answers, " of course I 
used to dance; but can't you see that 
there is a mighty deal of difference be- 




tween hugging other people's wives and 
daughters to music, and taking your own 
wife to a place where every fellow can 
press her to his bosom and dangle his 
legs among her petticoats? No, sir, I do 
not like it, and if my wife thought as I 
do about it, there would be no more 
dancing in our family. ' I would rather 
be a toad and feed on the damp vapor 
of a dungeon, than keep a corner in the 
thing I love for others' uses.' " 

Follow the conversation up and you 
will find that if ever Sorrow mocked a 
festival by its presence it is in the per- 
son of this man. He is not jealous, he 
is outraged ; all the finer feelings of his 
nature are trampled under foot, he is 
grieved and deeply wounded beyond re- 

This is the beginning of the end ; she 
is never the same woman to him here- 
after; he may smile and appear careless, 
but none the less has that tiny satin slip- 


per crushed all the fresh love from his 
heart. The second volume of his Book 
of Life is opened ; the first chapter there- 
of being headed " Estrangement," and 
the last " Divorce.'* 

And this is not an exceptional case ; 
the writer will venture the assertion th^t 
out of every fifty husbands who have 
dancing wives, there' are at least a dozen 
who if spoken frankly to upon the sub- 
ject would express themselves in terms 
of most bitter condemnation. 

And what kind of men are those who 
do not object to see their wives made 
common property in this manner.'* 
Well, there is your weak good-natured 
husband, who would willingly suffer any 
personal annoyance rather than thwart 
the wishes of his beloved wife, no matter 
how ill-advised those wishes may be. 

The writer is personally acquainted 
with a young and newly-married man, 
whose experience will illustrate what I 


have just said, though it is true that he 
eventually came to see the error of his 
ways He had the misfortune to marry 
a lady who was excessively fond of 
dancing. He had never learned to 
waltz himself, but finding it impossible 
to remain a looker-on he determined 
to acquire a knowledge of the intox- 
icating art. He, poor fool, imagined 
that when he had conquered the first 
elements of the dance, his wife would 
take particular pleasure in attending 
to his further instruction. Picture, 
then, his surprise and disgust when on 
making his cUbut in the ball-room he 
found that his wife would avail herself 
of every pretext to leave him to shift for 
himself — a conspicuous object for com- 
miseration of the experts — while she 
accepted the amorous attentions of every 
clodhopper who possessed the divine 

Were I, dear reader, to reproduce his 


exact words in giving expression to his 
indignation at and contempt for an in- 
stitution the effect of which is to ignore 
the relations of husband and wife, and 
exalt the accomplishments of the heel 
over those of the head and heart, you 
would be shocked beyond measure. 

All his happiness was centred in this 
one woman ; her good opinion was the 
dearest thing on earth to him. When 
therefore he found himself unable to 
partake with her of the pleasures of the 
dance, he tortured himself to acquire an 
art which in itself had no attraction for 
him, merely because he thought it would 
render him more pleasing in her sight. 
We have seen the manner in which she 
encouraged his first attempts ; but the 
wrong was to be deeper yet. Content 
that h<er pleasure should not be spoiled 
by his bad dancing, he allowed her to 
choose her own partners, while he ap- 
plied himself vigorously to his self-ap- 


pointed task of learning to waltz "like 
an angel/* Exactly how he achieved 
this end is not quite clear. He was not 
seen to practice much at the fashionable 
gatherings he attended with his wife ; he 
was too sensitive to ridicule for that. 
Perhaps, like Socrates in his old age, he 
found some underground Aspasia who 
was willing to give him lessons in the 
art. But however this may be, certain 
it is that before long he had acquired a 
degree of proficiency which was quite 
surprising. Now, he triumphantly 
thought, his fond wife could have all the 
" Boston Dip" necessary for her "health- 
ful exercise and recreation" without 
submitting her charms to the embrace 
of comparative strangers. 

Alas, for his hopes! After walking 
through the stately opening quadrille with 
the "partner of his joys," he discovered 
that as though by magic her card had 
been filled by the young bloods who 


clustered about her; and then for the 
first time he was informed that after in- 
troducing his wife to the floor it was a 
breach of etiquette to monopolize her 
any further — he must either sit content to 
see her whirl, spitted on the same bod- 
kin with men he had nevfer seen be- 
fore, or must turn his own skill to the 
best account and 

•* Give — ^likc her—caresses to a score." 

It is more than likely that he adopted 
the latter course — most of his class do. 
' Those wives who are so eager, for va- 
rious reasons of their own, that their 
husbands should learn to dance, might 
draw a wholesome lesson from the story 
of Caribert, king of Paris, whose wife 
Ingoberge would fain prevent him from 
spending so much time in the hunting- 

To this end she prepared a series of 
splendid festivities, which she induced 


her lord to attend. Now, fairest and 
most graceful among the dancers were 
two sisters of surpassing beauty, named 
M6roflede and Marcovere. Having, at 
his queen s express solicitation, essayed 
the "light fantastic" with these ladies, 
the good Caribert, who had before no 
thought for any woman but his wife, 
suddenly became so enamored with the 
skill and grace of the sisters, that he not 
only forswore the chase forever, but with 
all possible despatch divorced I ngoberge 
and married first Meroflede and then 

And thus it is that this demon creeps 
between the husband and the wife, and 
sooner or later separates their hearts for- 
ever. The sturdy oak may laugh at the 
entering of the wedge, but his mighty 
trunk will neverthefess be riven asunder 
by it in the end. 

But there is one other type of ball- 
room husband, whose portrait must not 


be"" omitted. This is the miserable, sim- 
pering, smirking creature who fully ap- 
preciates the privilege of being permitted 
to furnish, in the person of his wife, a 
a well draped woman for other men s 
amusement; who has an idea that the 
lascivious embraces bestowed upon his 
wife are an indirect compliment to him- 
self ; who is only too happy to be a cool- 
er to other men s lust in the ball-room, 
and is content to enjoy a kind of matri- 
monial aftermath in the nuptial cham- 
ber. Can any human being fall lower 
than this ? 

Old Fenton has told us that flattery 
"supples the toughest fool," but I regard 
the man who thus willingly resigns his 
wife to the palming of these ball room 
satyrs, merely because her beauty and 
gorgeous raiment bring notice upon him 
as the owner of so splendid an article — 
I regard this beast as a pander of the 
vilest kind; and a most foolish pander 



withal, for he simply purchases the title 
of cuckold at the price of his own dis- 
honor and his wife's open shame. He 
loves to hear it said that she "dances 
divinely," though he knows that the 
horns on his forehead are plainer to none 
than to the fellow who tells him so. 
Bah ! In the words of Mallet, 

** He who can listen pleased to such applause 
Buys at a dearer rate than I dare purchase." 

The budding horns affixed to the hus- 
band s pow in the fierce light of the ball- 
room have not the simple dignity of 
even the most towering antlers prepared 
by the ''neat-handed Phyllis" of his 
heart in the domestic seclusion and sub- 
dued half-lights of a house of assig- 
nation. In the one case he poses as a 
suppliant for honors to mark his impor- 
tunity; in the other his coronation is 
the unsought reward of modest merit. 
The Waltz may not make such despicable 
creatures as I have described above, but 


it at least affords them ah opportunity to 
parade their own degradation. 

But the modera Terpsichore has to 
answer for, if possible, still worse conse- 
quences than the seducing of our maids, 
the debauching of our young men, the 
prestitution of our wives, and the debas- 
ing of human nature, both male and 
female. She is worse than a procuress, 
there is blood upon her skirts, she is a 

From the day when Herodias danced 
John the Baptist's head into a trencher 
the dance has been the cause of 
violence and bloodshed. The hate and 
jealousy which smoulder within the 
breast of the rejected lover, and which 
he is struggling to extinguish, burst into 
flame at the sight of her he loves folded 
in ecstacy upon the breast of his rival. 
His cup was already full — this is more 
than he can bean 

We may pass by Venetian masquer- 



ade and Spanish fandango — where the 
knife of the avenger sends the victim's, 
blood spurting into the face of his part- 
ner — and may look nearer home, at our 
fashionable "hops" and "sociables." 
where, though the Vendetta may not be 
carried out upon the floor (and instances 
of this are not lacking) it is nevertheless 
declared, and where, though no mute 
form be borne out from the ball-room to 
the grave, the dance is none the less a 
veritable Dance of Death — a dance of 
murdered love and slain friendship, of 
stabbed and bleeding hearts, of crushed 
hopes and blighted prospects, of ruined 
virtue and of betrayed trust. 


** To save a Mayd, St. George the Dragon slew j 
A pretty tale if all that*s told be true; 
Most say there are no Dragons, and Vis sayd 
There was no George — pray heaven there was a Mayd.* 


ND now if I have succeeded 
in showing the modern dance 
as It is and the dancers as 
they are, together with the 
almost inevitable effects of the evil upon 
those who indulge in it, my main 
object is accomplished. I did not 
set out to deal with theories, but 
with facts. Indeed, did those whose 
godly calling places them on the watch- 
towers of the church, use a tongue of 


iire to lay bare this pernicious practice, 
and obey the divine mandate : " Thou 
shalt teach my people the difference 
between the holy and profane, and 
cause them fo discern between the 
unclean and the clean," and did those 
whose office it is to spe^k to the mill- 
ions through the myriad tongued press, 
use a pen of flame to expose this grow- 
ing iniquity, then would this thankless 
task be spared me. But when 

** Pulpits their sacred satire learn to spare. 
And vice admired to find a flatterer there,** 

then I say a layman must speak, or 
the stones would cry out against him. 

I have no personal or pulpit popularity 
to preserve, would not preserve it if I 
had at the price ot divesting this public 
sensuality of its terrors, or at the risk of 
not causing the types of dancers herein 
painted to shrink from their own portraits. 

It only remains for me, then, to make 
a few concluding and general remarks. 


It IS often urged that dancing cannot 
be desperately wicked, because it is "tol- 
erated by all except those of narrow and 
bigotted religious views." A greater 
mistake was never made, I assert that 
there are hosts of men who never per- 
mit the members of their families to 
take part in round dances. Nor is 
this the result of religious bigotry'. 
With most of them "religion," in the 
popular sense of the word, does not 
enter into the question at all — they are 
not too pious, but too chaste to dance. 
In their eyes this familiar "laying on 
of hands " is essentially indecent, and 
they cannot see that the fact of its beings 
done in public makes it any less inde- 
cent. They will not allow even omni- 
potent Fashion to blind them in this 
matter, especially when they see that 
the vice is most common among those 
who lead the fashion. 

Far be it from me, however, to imply^ 


that even the most ardent votaries of 
the dance are blind to its impurity. No 
indeed. I*? there one so-called respect- 
able woman among them who would 
submit to be painted or photographed in 
the attitude she assumes while dancing 
the latest variety of waltz — even though 
her partner in the picture, instead of be- 
ing a stranger just met for the first time, 
were her most intimate friend — aye, even 
though he were her husband ? Not one 
of them would submit to be thus de- 
picted ; but if some maiden could be per- 
suaded, what a pleasing family picture it 
would be for her husband and children 
to gaze upon in later years! Had I 
such an one to illustrate this book with, 
the success of its mission would be as- 
sured, with the simple drawback of the 
author being held amenable to an offended 
law for issuing obscene pictures. 

Such a representation would imme- 
diately effect the fulfillment of a proph- 


ecy made by the writer of a recent work 
entitled "Saratoga in Nineteen Hun- 
dred." In those times there is to be no 
more dancing. The gentlemen, it is 
true, are to engage the ladies for a por- 
tion of the evening as in these benighted 
day3; but instead of taking her on the 
floor, he will retire with her to one of a 
number of little private rooms with which 
every respectable mansion is to be pro- 
vided, and there they will do their hug- 
ging in private. A great improvement, 
certainly, upon the present plan, in such 
matters as decency and comfort, but 
scarcely in completeness. 

It will only remain for the sons and 
daughters of that future generation to 
make dancing their religion. Let them 
convert their churches into dancing-halls, 
and set up an appropriate image of their 
deity — the Waltz — ^upon the altars ; not 
the decently draped Terpsichore of the 
dark, pagan past, but the reeling Bac- 


chante — flushed, panting, dishevelled, 
half-naked, half-drunk, half-mad — of the 
enlightened, christian present ; let the 
grave priest give way to the gay master- 
of-ceremonies, and the solemn benedic- 
tion to the parting toast ; let the orches- 
tra occupy the pulpit, and the "wall- 
flowers " sit in the vestry ; let the pews 
be swept away, and the floors duly 
waxed and polished, but let not the tab- 
lets of the dead be removed — they are 
the "handwriting upon the wall,*' the 
nteney ntene^ tekel^ upharsin, most fitting 
for those to read who delight in the 
Dance of Death. Then, when the 
prayerbooks are programmes, and the 
hymnbooks the music of Strauss, the 
jingle of the piano may mock the dumb 
thunder of the organ, and the whirling 
congregation may immortalize a bard of 
to-day by singing the following verses 
of his composition to the "praise and 
glory of '' — the Waltz : 


" In lofty cathedrals the organ may thunder 
Its echoes repeated from fresco-crowned vaults, 

And the multitude kneeling in rapture may wonder^ 
But give me the music that sounds for the waltz \ 

The Angels of Heaven, in glory advancing, 
Are singing hosannahs of praise to the King j 

Unless they have women, and music, and dancing. 
Forever unheeded by me they may sing. 

Oh ! take not the sunshine that knows no to-morrow. 
The rivers of honey and fountains of bliss. 

Where the souls of the righteous may rest from their 
sorrow — 
They have not a joy that is equal to this. 

When the dead from their graves stand in awe and des- 

And the trumpet calls loud on that terrible day, 
To our names on the roll there will be no responding — 

To the music of Love we*ll have floated away.*' 

But having brought this delectable 
*' recreation " to the utmost pitch of re- 
finement of which it is susceptible — a 
condition it bids fair promise to attain 
in a few more seasons, I feel that it is 
time, as Byron has it, to " put out the 
light." I therefore conclude with a very 
brief exhortation to my readers. 

To dancers one and all I would say : 


Try and see yourselves as others see you; 
remember that there are many harmless 
pleasures that have about them no taint 
of filthy lust; above all cease to believe 
DT to assert that the modem waltz is an 
'* innocent amusement." 

To the women, in particular, I say : 
Set your faces against this abomination, 
which is robbing you of man's respect, 
and is the primal cause of infinite misery 
to yourselves. 

To the men I would say: Those who 
are the natural arbiters of what is per- 
missible between man and woman, have 
shown their weakness and betrayed their 
trust; it is now for you to show your 
strength and redeem your honor. 

You who are unfavorable to the mod- 
ern dance, I adjure not to let your oppo- 
sition be merely negative, but to work 
positively for the putting down of the 
evil precisely as you might for the sup- 
pression ol prostitution or any other cor- 


rupting influence. For as surely as thy 
soul liveth, this is " a way that seemeth 
good unto a man, but the end thereof is 



"It is not too mach to say that this book is the most powerful arraignmont 
of the most popular of dances that was ever put in print. It may be an un- 
comfortable book to read, but any man or woman who picks it up is sure to read 
it to the^end. "—^m«ric<»» Bookseller. 

"It is one of the ablest protests ever penned against the sins of the ball-room 
and the pernicious tendency of the modem waltz. Young men and maidens, 
married men and women, have gone on whirling and hugging each other in pub- 
lic with a freedom which would certainly never be tolerated in private. The 
glare of the gaslight has covered a multitude of sins, as many a mature man and 
matron will admit, and many a sullied maiden has found to her sorrow. While 
society has kept on winking at all this and deceiving itself into the belief that 
the young persons were doing no harm, one man has stepped to the front and 
boldly denounced what he not inaptly terms ' The Dance of Death.' The book 
is so remarkable in every way that we present our readers with its salient 
points." — Chicago InUrocecui. 

" It is a fiery philippic against the deathly tendencies of modern dancing. 
Whether one agrees with the conclusions of the author or not it will be difficult 
to put the book down without reading it." — Chicago Evening JoumaL 

" There has been nothing issued from the press which gives the reader such 
an unfavorable opinion of the waltz as this little book. It is a tract of the most 
powerful kind. To the husband who does not care to see his wife held in the 
arms of a libertine and gliding over the floor, and to the wife who is jealous of 
the woman embraced in her husband's arms, the book will make no new appeal. 
The author has undertaken a good work, and we regard his book as a powerful 
sermon against a most detestable and dangerous amusement."— (7A<ca^ Pott. 

"It shows in language of remarkable boldness, the essentially immoral ten- 
dency of the waltz. One feels hardly warranted in finding fault with the words 
he uses in setting them forth, for really it ought to be so exposed as to strip away 
all social and fashionable disguises."— C/i/caj/o Standard. 

" The Dance of Death," should be read by every ignorant but virtuous woman, 
and by every head of a family with growing girls in charge. Even those who go to 
it incredulous, as we did, will be convinced by the quiet intensity and Jeremy 
Taylor-like vigor of the author's righteous indignation, and shudder at the 
abysses of sensuality and nastiness he indicates. It is the book of the time, in 
this country, and nowhere mora so than in this very city of Washington."— 
WoiJiiiigton National Intelligencer, 


"This iB, or abould bo oa opooh-maldnff Iwok. It is ezooodingly well and 
powerfully written, and with a direotnesa of purpose and plainness of lanfiraa^e 
which oommand attention. Assnredly it is no fanciful or bigoted opposition t« 
innocent amusement that inspires this book. As to whether " The Dance of 
Death ** should be read by every body, perhaps it is too late to consider a question 
which has already resolTod itself. We tTUnk that a /rank communieaiian qfOUa book to 
the young it cbriro&la, and we do not think that any girl capable of conseeutiTe 
thought can take harm from its perusal. We are decidedly of opinion that the 
case against the waltz is proved, and we may say that the most alarming proof of 
a general decadence of morals conceivable, would be the fact, that this book had 
exercised no influence in causing the waltz and its congeners to be discarded by 
society."— tSocromento DaUy Union. 

"It seems high time that somebody should ca!l attention to practices that ap- 
pear to be disgracefully on the increase, even if the shaking up be as rude as that 
administered in the pages of this * Dance of Death."— iS. F. Morning CaO, 

" The book is a most uncompromising attack upon the ' modem waltz.* Th% 
writer is well acquainted with his subject, and writes in a bold, fearless, and at 
the same time classical and elegant style. The author of the book— a gentleman 
of high standing in San Francisco, whose name, were it substituted for its paea 
donym on the title page, would furnish all requisite evidence of the integrity of 
his purpose— has most cordial letters of endorsement and encouragement from 
leading literary men and women, clergymen and others, East and West. No book 
was ever put in print so likely to create a revolution in the dancing customs of 
society. It is not blatant, frothy or bigoted; it is cool, clear, logical, dealing only 
with facts within the author's range of knowledge, and subject to his proof. It 
seems hardly possible that any father can tolerate the thought of 'bail-rooms' 
after reading ' The Dance of Death,' or that any woman can compromise herself 
by entering one."— Soa Frandjsco Evangd, 

" This evil, the waltz, so insidious in its approach and influence, has existed 
long enough amongst us: it daily gains power through the sanction of Fashion, 
and Heaven only knows— though our author hints at it— what stage of legalized 
lubricity it may reach unless promptly attacked and slain. Many ladies whose 
position and breeding should render them impassable and Immovable, will doubt- 
less lose their temper and confess their sin by their indignation. Many gentle- 
men, of oily manners and principles, will, of course, be furious at finding a look- 
ing-glass in the pages of 'The Dance of Death.' But we nevertheless do plainly 
advise Mr. Herman, if that be not his true name, to publish another edition (for 
the present will soon be sold out) with his veritable praanomen, nomen, and oog- 
nomen upon the title page, and to fearlessly rely upon the support and counten- 
ance of all pure and honest men and women for his vindication."— £!an FrancUmo 
News Letter. 

" * The Dance of Death,' by a San Franciscan, is a powerful attack on Him^^m 
as a licentious amusement. Certain ly no gentleman having a high respect for his 
chastity will indulge in such an idiotic and demoralizing fandango."—^. F. Galdm 
£rcL » 


"Th« uffwnont is in many respeots consistent and admirable, and the Writing 
•hows a praoticed hand, large reading and accompi ished scholarship. The aathof 
is said to be a gentleman of San Francisco and an artist of repute."— 5. F. Chranide, 

*' It will require something more than scoffing to negative the force of this 
earnest attack. The redhot shot have too much of truth to be lightly turned 
aside. The yotaries of the mazy whirl must needs call up their entire reseryeg 
if they would meet the onset of this uncompromising reformer. The spirit in 
which the book is written, its strong illustrations of the evil it deplores, and the 
pointed, earnest, courageous sentiments of morality it espouses, will command 
for it the sincere respect of all lovers of purity and home. This book is such a 
orjstallization of all the evil influences of the voluptuous dance that it dispels 
all doubt in the premises, and will det-ermine many a vacillating soul to nerve 
its resolve against ever again indulging in the Dance of Death."— iS. F. Evening 

"A fierce denunciation of the waltz, as a danoe in which the rules of modesty 
are frequently violated, in which young ladies learn to tolerate liberties that 
would never be permitted under other circumstances, and in which the first ap- 
proaches are often made toward dangerous license. The author discusses the 
subject with bold thought and vigorous language, looking at it from many sides, 
and bringing up illustrations and evidences from a wide range of reading. 
This most comprehensive and forcible essay will be received with satisfaction 
by thousands.*'— iSon FranUseo AUa. 

** The author writes evidently under a deep conviction of the truth, and gives a 
voice of warning in terms that well nigh take away the breath of the reader."— 
California Chriatian Advocate. 

"A startling book, written with intense force and vigor."— ^on FrwuiKo Mail. 

"The literary sensation of the day is undoubtedly the little brochure recently 
published in this city, entitled the * Dance of Death.' The whirling waltz, with 
its modem improvements, is described as it has never before been described in 
the English language. Byron's celebrated verses are weak and meaningless com- 
pared with the trenchant and scathing sentences of the portrayer of the ' Dance 
of Death.' The book is a good one, and it is sure to have excellent effect. It can 
begin to number its converts already. We do not believe that there is a false or 
exaggerated line in the book from beginning to end. It will establish a lasting^ 
reputation for the author."— &m Dranciaoo Monitor and Guardian. 

" As a literary composition it is a treat. It is one of the books, if not the book 
of the day. and should be read by all who care to keep up with the times."— iScm 
Fi-ancuito Daily Stock BeporL 

*' It is a most remarkable book, and has taken like wildfire within the few weeks 
it has been issued. It will make the reader think. '-'-OaXc^and Prem. 

"It maybe fearlessly asserted that after having read it none but an avowed 
libertine would proffer, and no lady who had any care for her reputation accept^ 
an invitation to particiiAite in a waltz."— Oo&toid Tranacrijpt. 



"We haTe read from cover to cover the ' Dance of Death,' and do not wondei 
at the sensation it has created. The author's powers of description are certainly 
wonderful, and remind us of the high coloring of Boccaccio."— Xos Angeles MeraUL 

" This is no ordinary work, and it is a pleasure to read so well written a book. 
The style of writing is vigorous and polished, a model of good English. "—Pteoef 

• . 

"This is the most remarkable book of the age ; it has almost entirely stopped 
round dancing in California, and we believe it vrill have the same effect all over 
the world."— /St Helena Star. 

"This is a remarkable book, and one, the effects of which on the rising genera- 
tion cannot but be considerable. The writer of it is a consummate master of lan- 
guage, and his attack is severer and perhaps more just on the evils of round 
dancing, than has yet been made by preacher or xaoraliat."— Stockton Herald. 

" No one who reads this remarkable work will deny that the author is a vigorous 
and powerful writer, and that he strikes at the root of a deeip and moral scourge. 
The book is as full of scathing sentences and burning denunciation as one of 
Juvenal's Satires, and we hope that it may find its way into the band of every 
husband and parent in the land."— ftyeXca Daily Sentinel. 

'* This book has created a greater flutter in social circles than anything pub- 
lished within our remembrance. Its pages should receive the earefnl perusal of 
IHirents, and the equally careful attention of the young. One thing is certain, it 
will be read."— r^ yew North-west. 

"The book is written with remarkable and intense vigor and courageously as. 
sails a custom whose tendency is immoral." — Portland Oregonian. 

" The language of the writer shows him to be a cultivated and vigorous writer. 
The plainness of the langtiage is at times absolutely startling. The great ma- 
jority of people will heartily concur in his condemnation of the modem waltz."— 
Virginia Evening Chronicle. 

** We feel pleased that there exists a pen bold enough to denounce the evil 
complained of in so masterly a manner and in such vigorous English. If we mis- 
take not it will work great good in the social world."— Xo« Angeles Express. 

*'It shows a picture easily recognized, and will, we think, work a needed re- 
form."— S. F. Dally Hotel Gazttte. 

" It is a book that should be read by all and its remarks cherished."— Or e^nton. 

"This is the latest literary sensation and is creating a furore. The pictures of 
a modern ball-room are drawn with wonderful poviBv.'*— Nevada Slate Journal. 

*'Such a publication, in our jnd;;ment, was timely, and. indeed, necessaty in 
order to correct an evil palpable to all who pay the slightest attention to such 
subjects."- San IVanclm} Examiner. 

**No work has been published in modern times upon wbich has been expressed 
such a wide difference of opinion. It is well written, and the subject of dancing 
is handled in the choicest language."- 5toc^-tort Independent. 


** If ever a meritorious and worthy pablioation was sent into the world, it is 
this offepring of the heart and brain of William Herman. This litis work will do 
more good than the press and pulpit coold accomplish. It is a book which 
parents, and their sons and daughters who have arrived at years of discretion, 
should read."— TTerf Coast Signal. 

"We think most readers, even among those who indulge in dancing, will find 
his arguments striking if not convincing. We doubt if the waltz had received a 
harder blow since Byron's famous satire. We think ' The Dance of Death ' wor- 
thy of an extended reading."— r/ie Chicago Alliance. 

" There is one remarkable fact about that remarkable book * The Dance of 
Death;' the clergy generally endorse it and recommend its circulation, while the 
so-called ' worldly ' and pleasure-loving people denounce it as utterly immoral 
and bad. This fact cannot be without significance. It is one of those paradoxes 
underneath which a reflecting mind sees a tmth."—I\tzgeraleF9 Borne Newspaper 
and Educational Journal. 


[Selected from a vast number received during the short time the book has been 
before the public. ] ^ 

Mrs. General W. T. Shebman writes: 

" I have read your book, ' The Dance of Death,' and I must say I admire your 
courage, and believe you have shown as much heroism as any crowned martyr, in 
your defence of virtue and your denunciation of what is so calculated to drive it 
from the hearts and minds of fashionable women. I have always given this 
miserable danoe a silent condemnation, by refusing to allow any of my daughters 
to participate in it, under any circumstances ; but I have avoided the evil as 
something at the sight of which my soul revolted, without being able to say any- 
thing against it, either from experiences or any absolute knowledge of its most 
direct and pemipious effects. 

Now it must cease. Women of virtue or self-respect will now blush to have the 
dance named to them. An amusement which leads, in any case, to such results 
as you have pointed out, should be forever discountenanced ; even if they should 
oontinue it for a while in order to assert their own innocence and their non- 
concurrence in your views, they will be only too glad to let it die out. 

I am rejoiced that you have spoken boldly and told all you know about it." 

The Rev. B. F. Tailob, writes: 

"Last evening I purchased a copy of 'The Dance of Death ' and read it through 
at one sitting, and now hasten to thank you for the noble, manly utterances you 
have expressed. As a minister of the gospel I have preached on the dangers of 
the dance, but dare not, in the pulpit, treat the subject with your plainness. I 



hope all the mothers in the Uad will read your book, and if Ihmd a dAv^hter I 
ivoald have no hesitancy in plaoing it in her hands.** 

[ So many letters of a simiUu: purport have been received from olergymen, that 
it is impossible to publish them. This is given as the tenor of alL ] 

The Rev. O. P. Fitzqebald, ex-Sunerintendent of Public Instruction for 
the State of California, writes : 

*'Tbis is a most remarkable book and its publication will make astir. It 
abounds in passages of wonderful power. Parts of it are as keen in satire as 
Juvenal ; other parts are suflFused with a pathos that is startling in its intensity. 
Every parent ought to read ii. If we mistake not, its publication will afFeot the pub- 
lic mind something like the shock of a powerful galvanic battery.'* 

The lady principal of one of the chief female educational establishments on 
the Pacific Slope, writes to request that a copy of "The Dance of Death " be 
sent to the principle male educational establishment as she particularly de- 
sires it to be read there. 

The same lady has introduced many of her persona) friends to the author, to 
enable them to procure advance copies, but in no way has she shown her approval 
of the work more plainly than by reading it, " chapter and verse," to her senior 

class, a member of which writes: *' Mrs. ^has begun to read your book to oar 

class: she spoke to me about it, and said she agreed with you perfectly." Nor 
was this done unadvisedly, as the following letter will show. 

Dio Lewis writes to the lady above alluded to, by whom he had been 
furnished with an *' author's copy : " 

" I thank you for the volume—' Dance of Death.' Please 
say to the author that, in my humble opinion, he has done his work most power* 
fully and effectively. It is the vulnerable point in the enemy's works. No one — 
no decent woman of any age, can read the volume without finding it difficult, or 
impossible, to waltz again. I feel myself greatly indebted to Mr. Herman. Is 
that his real name ? Please tell me how I m(ty address him. Oan't you, dear 
madam, read that volume to your young ladies? It will do great good," 

The Pastor of a Presbyterian Church, writes : 

** I am glad you have written it. • • • With the object of the book, 
the abatement of a dangerous amusement— dangerous as now conducted to the 
moral purity of its devotees— I am in full accord, • • • ^^y treatment 
that will aid in abating the evil must be not only justified, but commended. I 
sincerely hope your book will go into the hands of the fathers and mothers of 
our whole land." 

A Rev. Father of St. Ignatius College, San Francisco, writes to a friend : 
** The author describes one of the greatest evils of present as well as past times. 
His colors, no matter how heavily laid on, are far from exaggeration. The evil 
is there— toe know it, who are left to heal the sores of the soul ; they know it, 
who, with the indulgence of eaay parents and the sanction of law and fashion, 
avail themselves of the opportunity to satisfy their morbid passions. * * * I 


wonld that ev»ry tether and mother Btaeuld read M, and even yeung ladies. • •" 
• T¥ith us, Oatholios, the matter is settled ; we know all about it. It is difficult 
to speak each things from the pulpit ; but we are glad^tbat troth is made aoces* 
■ible through a book of this kind." 

A. 8. Babnes, of the well-known New York school-book publishing Arm 

" You have evidently taken the bull by the horns, and produced a book which 
should be read by every parent and guardian. The writer is a little at loss to- 
decide whether it is a book for young girls and boys to read, and yet he is not 
certain but that it should have a free circulation. If you are inclined to send n» 
the plates, we will either publish it or find a publisher for yon. 

Gen. Albebt Pike, of Washington, D. C, writes : 

"I have received and read "The Dance of Death." I think it is true, every 
word of it. The waltz is only fit for houses of prostitution, and I never have 
been able to understand how any father could permit his daughter, or any hus- 
band his wife, to waltz with other men. But, ehaeun i son gout. The chief 
object of dress and action of young women now seems to be to excite men's pas< 
sionate desire. A general reform is needed, and the preachers will have to talk 
as plainly to women, by and by, as they did some centuries ago in France." 

The Bev. R. S. Stubbs, of Yancouver, in a long and eulogistic letter, says: 
" This book fills a vacant niche in the temple of literature, not occupied by ser- 
xnons or homilies. 

•Mr. Stephen Massett (** Jeems Pipes, of Pipesvllle,") writes : 
"Among those who have spoken in praise of your powerfully written little 
book— 'The Dance of Death,' let my name be enrolled." 

Geo. T. Bbomuey, the OaliforDia humorist and lecturer, writes : 

"I have been deeply interested in your forthcoming work— 'The Dance of 

Death,' and the impression left upon my mind after its perusal was, that as a. 

restraining influence in this fast age, the book should be in the possession of 

every parent, and earnestly read by all who have an interest in the moral welfare 

of the present generation as well as that to come.'* 

Mb. Henbt Edwabds, of the Califomia Theatre Company, writes : 
"I have no doubt but that your volume will have a very large circulation, and 
that its opinions will sink deeply into the minds of those to whom it is addressed." 

Mr. Chables A. Mobse, a naval gentleman, well-known in Cal. writes ; 

"I must say I liave an admiration for the author who has the boldness and in- 
dependence to probe so popular and fashionable a moral ulcer, and express hi» 
ideas and convictions in good old Saxon, without half concealing them in gener- 
alities, for fear of offending the sensitive reader. * * * In my judgment, thes«. 
are truths to which we must not close our eyes, and they are here presented with 
an earnestness of expression that carries conviction of the author's sincerity of 
purpose. It must work a great good in time." 


J. Y. Bti>zb. of Clereland, Gbao, writes : 

**I am in sTmpatiij with yoa od the " waltz." snbjeet. I have always pTO> 
€lairoed acainst the improiKietj of so macb axdent hncsing on short acuauntr 
anoo as the eostomaiT waltz admits of. Your shaking np of it is powerful-" 

Mr. J. S. JoinEs, a weJI-known merchant of San Fnmciaoo, writes : 
** Yoa have photognphed the ball-rocm eorrectlj." 

C. W. M. SafiTH, a lawyer of Ssa Francisco, writes : 

Your work ** has opened op to my mind new fields of thonght which it would 
not be wise or prudent to isnorSk The proofs therein contained of the lascirions 
thouchts and actions incident to participation in the round dances, should lead 
tts to sineerelj consider whether or not we should permit our wires and daueh- 
ters to share in them." 

8. D. 8tstshs» of San FranciBco. writes : 

** When we come to look back to what we know onraelres, we must admit that 
jon have not orerdrawn the picture. It is a book that from its Tsxy boldness 
will be eagerly sought for and read, and cannot help but do much good. Many 
will condemn it who fear the truth ; so much the better, for they show ttisir 
eolozs, or ignozance, of the subject treated. " 

Bbacsbbzdgs Hkmtno, ("Jack Harkaway/') writes : 

**Yon hare brought to bear long study and deep research— not sparine the 
Imife, in laying bare this excreeence on the body social,'* 

a. H. LooMZs, s jonmaUst and artist, writes flrom East Gambridge, Mass. : 
** No doubt these things are true * * * I shall, with many others, re- 
joice when cause and consequences are «s apparent to others that ought to know 
and comprehend as they are to you." 

Says Henry L. Chambbbuon, a gentleman eminent in religioas circles in 
San Francisco : 

" I do not think jou have exaggerated the dangers, nor spoken too plainly of 
the corrupting inllaenoes of the modem waltz. I beliere the book will do good, 
and cannot see how it can do any harm." 

One of the most favorably known lawyers in San Francisco, writes: 
" I have read your little book aloud to the Principal of the High School of one 
of our neighboring cities, and he endorses everything I say when I declare that 
yon have done a good, compared with which, the preachings and teachings of 
the ordinary lifetime of ordinary men pass into insignificance. What can I say 
more 7 * * * In regard to the plainness of your talk, this only can be 
said, that the subject admits of no other treatment." 

The Bev. Fathsb Agoolti, S. J. an eminent Catholic clergyman of San 
Frandsco, writes: 

" EUving carefiilly perused your excellent book, ' The Dance of Death,* I can- 
not forbear expressing my full approval thereof, and I cheerfully endorse every 
line contained therein. • • • Some persons may think that yon have 
employed colors too high in depicting the moral dangers of the fashionabla 


ianoes of the day. But if those who practice them would read yoar pa^s witb 
an unprejudiced mind, I am sure they would own, at least within their own 
beart. that you are perfectly right, and perhaps would confess that the reality if 
still much worse than its portraiture. You hava opened, dear sir, a campaign 
against a public evil." 

The Eev. Fatheb Bajiohi, S, J., writes; 

" I am full of admiration for your bold, learned, and irresistible condemnation 
of a public and domestic evil, no less scandalous and ruinous than common and 
attractive. • • • You are a true Seneca— the most cor* 
rupting, widespread, lascivious practice of our age. I am glad to endorse every 
word of your valuable work. I should also bo glad if your work were put into 
the hands of every father and mother. As for boys and girls, if they are bad. it 
will render them no worse; if good, it will open their eyes. * * The 
Catholic Church has long since anticipated your views, and through her Bishops 
Pastors and Confessors, condemned these demoralizing evils, and deterred her 
children from this disorder— denouncing them with the severest penalties." 

The same reverend father received a letter from a lady to whom he had 
submitted a copy of the book for examination, from which the following are 
extracts : 

" I agree with this same William Herman in all he says concerning this matter. 
He will. I imagine, be more readily endorsed by those of his own sex than by 
those of mine. We are not apt to admit that it is possible to sin, when we may 
only be the innocent cause of oxhers sinning. Better a thousand times that our 
rhildren's eyes should be opened by the tbuths contained in the book, than that 
their soul's honor should be sullied." 

George Howard, a gentleman well-known in San Francisco as President 
of the Knights of Pythias Library Association, writes : 

" 1 am convinced that it is a work that is much needed. • • • • 
I have often watched the lascivious dances you have so ably described, and having 
resided for several years in the Hawaiian Islands, I am thoroughly convinced 
that the Hulahula of the natives is not half so demoralizing in its effect as the 
modem waltz.,' 

Major A. F. Beitdbr of San Francisco, writes : 

" I have never been a dancer, and did not know that such effects as yon desoibe 
could result from what has always seemed to me a harmless amusement ; but 
Kince the book has become a subject of conversation, I have heard enough to 
convince me that it has not appeared at all to soon. I think that parents cannot 
enough recommend the courage that has enabled you to oppose in so public a 
way an evil of such proportions." 

Mr. W. T. Carleton, of Hess' Grand English Opera Troupe, says : 
"I can only record my entire concurrence in your views. All who read 'The 
Darice of Death ' should first carefully familiarize themselves with the preface* 
and should they then eensure the author, their objections will surely be baaed 
upon vicious bigotry or a wilful blindness to the truths expounded." 


Ifr. Jos. Bbowv, Ex-Hayor of St. Lonls, writes : 

*' It is a shame thaA society countenances snch things, and it is more responsi- 
ble for the min that grows out of it than the victim. Yonr little gem of a book 
should be in the hands of OTery mother who has children growing up." 

Mr. Edwabd Wilson, of the firm of Wilson & Adams, Philadelphia, writes: 
" I have a copy of your remarkable book. I began reading it the evening it 
oame, and did not go to bed until I had finished it, for it was most fascinating. 
I fear I shall be a poor critic, however, for I do so entirely agree with yon. I am 
«ure you are right, and if the book is as widespread as it should be, there will be 
many to thank yon, for it will awaken the guilty to a sense of the evil they are 
cultivating and make them * hold on.' I think you have most graphically de- 
tailed the horrors of one of the most crying evils." 

Db. Bbown, it. S. N., writes: 

" I have read the * Dance of Death * with unusual interest, on account of its 
merits. The subject is graphically treated, with a commendable terseness. 
* * * It forces the attention alike of those who approve and oppose." 

Dr. J. C. Tucker, of San Francisco, writes: 

" Many young (and old) * society men ' have admitted to me their knowledge 
" from others * of the bestial horror you so boldly War against. I trust your 
righteous crusade against this fearful moral iniquity may prevail." 

General Lucius H. Foots, of San Francisco, writes: 

" I have read and re-read * The Dance of Death : ' it is a remarkable book ; writ- 
ten with a wonderful vigor, and more than all, it is a naked truth. You have 
uncovered a hissing serpent, and it will do good. I predict that men and women 
will read it and stand aghast. You have shown admirable courage in attacking 
the dragon singly and alone, but thousands will rally to your support. ' Let the 
galled jade wince,' you will be sustained." 

Prof. Alonzo PhbIaPS, A. M., of Boston, Mass. writes : 

" It is a masterly production, and cannot fail in its laudable and worthy pur- 
purpose and endeavor— to redeem society from a degrading social indulgence." 

E. D. Farnswobth, P. Gt. Sire I. O. O. F., writes: 

"The bold and fearless manner in which you have handled the subject should 
entitle you to the gratitude of all parents. • • • I have no word of 
censure to express, but would say to all : read 'The Dance of Death,' and answer 
for yourselves as to its justness. The preface should be assurance that you have 
endeavored to deal fairly with the subject, and without condemnation of the 

Pay Director J. C. Cunningham, IT. S. N., after bestowing praise which I 
do not care to repeat upon the book as a literary production, goes on to say: 

" And as for the matter of the book, the author deserves yet higher pnuso, for 
he says a truth that should be told, but few dare tell." 


H. M. BoswoBTH, of San Francisco, writes: 

** Of the subject, as yoa have experienced it, I know nothing ; but as one of tht 
most immacalate women of my acquaintance, who knowa something of ball-room 
annoyances, says * Amen I * to the book, I can safely say I think yon are right.'* 

J. H. FrrzQiBBON, a prominent business man of St. Louis, writes: 

" There is a moral to be drawn from it— never let your wife or daughters fa- 

dnlge in round dances, for this is the road to perdition. * * * It is a 

book that should be in every well regulated family." 






jna X008